In what could spawn another round of protracted litigation over nursery admissions in the Capital, the AAP government’s decision to put an upper-age limit in entry-level education has been challenged in the Delhi high court.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher on Wednesday issued notices to the city government, directorate of education (DoE) and the lieutenant governor on the petition challenging the December 18 notification.
The DoE’s circular fixed the upper age limit for admission in entry-level classes at four years for pre-school, five years for pre-primary and six years for Class I as on March 31 of the year in which admission is being sought.
The process of distributing forms for nursery admissions began on January 1 and will end on January 22. The first list of selected candidates will be displayed on February 15 while the second list, if any, will come out on February 29. The admission process will close on March 31.
Justice Shakdher directed the authorities to respond within 10 days and posted the matter for further hearing on February 1.
Appearing for two-year-ten-month-old Uday Pratap Singh Kapoor, advocate Akhil Sachar sought to quash the DoE’s notification , saying his client would not be able to take admission in pre-school in 2017 as he will be four years and one month old then.
Sachar told HT that children born in the month of March and barely over three years old on the cut-off date of March 31 would be forced to take admission in pre-school, as they would not be able to take admission the next academic year.
He further said kids who turn three prior to March 31 in a calendar year would fail to secure admission in pre-nursery on first attempt and would be precluded from taking admission in the next academic year as he would have crossed the upper age limit of less than four years.
The notification seeks to do disservice to children as well as their parents by taking away their right to an education by introducing an age limit for admission to a school, the petition said.
“Grant of only one year to seek admission to a school is violative of a child’s rights under the Constitution. There can be no ‘age’ for education. Capping the upper age for entering school is highly discriminatory and seeks to prejudice the rights of children and society,” it added.