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As crisis worsens, tots drop out of preschools

By Dhammika Salwathura

Teachers of preschools warn that early childhood development activities that help a child transition from home to school are on the verge of collapse as the number of children attending such schools plummeted.There are a large number of state-run preschools and institutions that cater to under-privileged communities. Given that those are also manned by professionally qualified teachers, there is also an exodus of teachers from those schools, they say.

They say that in the past few months most children have dropped out of preschools and most of those who continue to do so under great difficulties.

“Most children bring food with low nutritional value. Some kids have not ehad milk for weeks. Most kids bring rice with sambol. Some kids bring one ball of Triposha. I have hardly seen children bringing meat, fish, or eggs,” a teacher said.

She said that even children from middle class families consumed food with very little nutritional value. A large number of children were not able to pay fees and are dropping out.

“We are also in trouble because it’s getting increasingly difficult to find paying customers. The government pays Rs. 2,500 per teacher who works in a government run facility, but that’s not enough. The government needs to care about early childhood development more,” a teacher said.

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