Refusing to interfere with the current process, the Delhi high court Friday said children aged three-plus are eligible for admission to nursery classes and those aged four-plus to kindergarten (KG).
The court also dumped the recommendation of the Ashok Ganguly committee, appointed by it, that KG and not nursery be considered entry level to formal schooling and that both should be segregated.
“In schools where pre-school (nursery) education is imparted, it has to be treated as entry level. Entry level won’t start from pre-primary (KG) in such schools,” a bench of acting chief justice AK Sikri and justice RS Endlaw said, dismissing the plea of an NGO, Social Jurist.
“Children admitted to pre-school at 3-plus will be promoted to pre-primary the next year without having to go through the admission process again.”
The order is a victory for the Delhi government and the city’s schools, which had urged the high court to let the current process stay till formal guidelines are framed.
Ashok Agarwal, counsel for the NGO, said the government was in violation of the court's 2007 order asking it to implement the committee's recommendations. "Many four-year-olds who sought fresh admission to KG this year couldn't make it due to the illegal automatic promotion given by schools to nursery students," he said.
But the court disagreed. "Subjecting parents and children to a double admission test (at pre-school and then pre-primary level) won't only work against the welfare of children, it will also be counter-productive and may have some psychological effect and other repercussions on the children."
"It is in the interest of a child admitted to a pre-school to remain in the same environment… and for continuity to be maintained."