karnataka: 40% of 2 to 4-year-olds in Karnataka attend preschool, 31% in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: For the first time, the National Family Health Survey of 2019-20 has focused on preschool attendance. As per Karnataka data released on Tuesday, just 40% of children in the 2-4 years age group attend preschool. At 56%, it’s the highest in Mandya and Udupi districts, and lowest in Bengaluru with 31% attendance.
In India, many children attend Anganwadi Centres that provide spaces for them to learn, play, eat nutritious food, and develop skills needed for a lifetime of learning. Pre-primary education, like the one provided at an Anganwadi Centre, improves children’s school readiness by providing quality learning through interactive, play methods with qualified instructors, says the study. It also points to how parents or guardians can go to work at ease if children are enrolled in pre-primary education.
It further says that preschool attendance is moderately low among children in nuclear households (39%) than in non-nuclear ones (41%).
The study adds that preschool attendance among children is highest in households headed by Christians (44%) and is the same (40% each) in households headed by Hindus and Muslims. It is lowest among scheduled caste households (38%) and highest in households not belonging to a scheduled caste, scheduled tribe or other backward class (43%).
Interestingly, urban households show preschool attendance of 38%, slightly lower than rural households (41%).
However, there is no clarity on whether the data is only pertaining to children attending Anganwadis or all preschools, including those run by the private sector.
‘Packed with kids’
Pruthvi Banwasi, secretary, Karnataka Council of Preschools, however finds the data hard to believe. According to him, the 40% (state figure) and 31% (Bengaluru figure) are an underestimation. “There are 2,500 preschools registered with the Karnataka Council of Preschools and nearly 85% of them are in Bengaluru. In total, there are over 20,000 preschools in Bengaluru, including the small sized ones,” he said, adding that all preschools were packed with kids during the survey period (2019-20).
Authorities from the women and child welfare department were unavailable for comments.

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