About SIEMAT :
Two Research Projects were undertaken by IPEM in the field of Primary Education.
Project : I A comparative study of Achievements of Primary school students with, and without pre-primary education.
Project II Role of Private Institutions in Expanding Elementary Education.
Need for Research in Primary Education :
Reiterating its commitment to strengthen the base of the pyramid of education (primary education), the National Policy of Education 1986, has given top priority to universalisation of elementary education. A large number of projects and programmes have been launched in various parts of the country since the inception of the new policy. The success of these programmes will depend on the sound support system and well tested mechanism of evaluation evolved through researches of good quality. This vision can be translated into action only when the functionaries working at the strategic position in the system are capable to undertake research studies, which have a direct practical bearing.
The importance of pre-primary education was recognized before independence in our country. Pre-primary education centres were mainly confined to south India uptil 1930. Pre-primary education started gaining attention when the National Policy for children (1974) recognized children as the nationís supremely important asset and the nationís responsibility for their nurture and solicitude. There was no policy on pre-primary education until 1986. The seventh plan was the landmark in the history of pre-primary education. In this plan National Policy on Education (NPE) (1986) was developed which laid a strong emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education and considered pre-primary education as an important area of education. The NPE further considered pre-primary education as a critical input for holistic retention of children in the primary grades.
The psychologists, educationists and policy-makers of today have started emphasizing upon the importance of pre-primary education in mental, physical, emotional, social development and language development and in readiness for the intellectual activities that will come in later years of a child. Early childhood education is now assuming a dual importance : first, its direct influence on child development; second : its potential contribution to the programme for universal elementary education. This contribution has two functional aspects. One is that the child receives care and his caretaker, usually a young girl in the family, is thus freed to attend school, the latter results on removing one basic cause of school drop-outs. The other is that the child gets the chance to become familiar with the ideas of constructive play and to develop desirable behavioral patterns. Early childhood education is, therefore, an important adjunct to the preparation for primary school. Recently a lot of impetus has been provided for promoting ample research-work in this area, so as to encourage the percolation of pre-primary education to the grass-root level, in our country. This study was designed to be yet another step among several others, in the direction of investigating the role of pre-primary education upon the studentsí achievement during their later years of schooling.
Providing elementary education to everyone in the society either through formal or non-formal systems of education by government agencies alone may not be feasible. It was therefore, considered necessary to find out the role of Private institutions in expanding elementary education. The State Institute of Educational Management and Training realized this need and invited research proposals for conducting research on this topic