Model pre-primary schools to ensure overall development of tiny tots in Kerala

The initial years after children enter the world of knowledge form the foundation on which their entire future is built.
Representational image (File photo| EPS)
Representational image (File photo| EPS)

KOCHI: The initial years after children enter the world of knowledge form the foundation on which their entire future is built. Keeping this in mind, Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK), in association with the state government, is implementing a project to set up model pre-primary schools with activity areas.

"Preschools should encourage children to learn through interactive play lessons and provide them a variety of hands-on learning activities," said SSK state programme officer Amul Roy. He said young children learn best when they are actively learning and experimenting with their surroundings. 

"The preschool environment must encourage children to explore using all their senses and develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, persistence and imagination," he said.

This is where the concept of activity areas, comprising interactive materials and activities that focus on a particular skill, area of development or interest, comes into play. Roy said preschool classrooms often use activity areas to encourage self-paced learning and exploration. 

Under the concept, a classroom is divided into various activity areas. They  are named block area, dramatic play area, literary area, art area, sensory table area, manipulative or discovery area, indoor gross motor play area, music and movement area, computer area, outdoor area and nature or science area. 

Roy said the project is being implemented all over the state. "However, the number of pre-primary schools affiliated with the state education department is less, around 2,000," he said.

He said the work related to the setting up of activity areas would have been completed this year were it not for the Covid pandemic. "The project has been implemented in 14 schools under SSK and 168 schools under Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS)," he said.

Schools have been provided Rs 15 lakh each to implement the project. Respective local self-government institutions would provide additional funds. "The work at schools in Thiruvananthapuram is going as per schedule. A good example of the activity area can be seen at a school in Thrissur. The classroom there will be opened by the month end," Roy said.


  • Provide development-oriented hands-on activities rather than paper-and-pencil worksheets to pre-primary children

  • Provide an opportunity to function as part of a group and give children a chance to practice social skills

  • Ensure development in all preschool development areas

  • Change the culture and dynamics of preschool classrooms in Kerala

  • Promote the development of social skills among peers and other adults

Expected outcome

  • Increased student engagement in the learning process

  • Hands-on learning in an organised way in activity areas with a different educational focus

  • Better opportunities for children with multiple learning styles, particularly visual and kinaesthetic learners

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The New Indian Express