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A false start for tiny tots

The last few days have been gruelling and the coming days will be more traumatic for those seeking nursery admissions in Delhi, writes Lipakshi Khurana.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2007 20:49 IST
Lipakshi Khurana

The last few days have been gruelling and the coming days will be more traumatic for those seeking nursery admissions in Delhi. Initially, the issue revolved around solving the difficulties parents and children face during nursery admissions. But we lost the plot midway and have only managed to complicate it much more.

The Delhi School Amendment Act, 1999, fixed the minimum age for admission to Class I at six years, for nursery four years and fixed September 30 as the cut-off date for age during admission.

But now the Delhi government has merged the nursery and kindergarten classes into one year as pre-primary. This will only increase the burden on the children. Four-year-olds, who were supposed to go to nursery earlier, will now go to pre-primary. This means they will have to study the syllabus of two classes or two years in one year. This will only add to their woes. On the one hand, we talk about reducing strain on children by relaxing examination rules. For example, the CBSE is in the process of regularising the process and scrapping the marking system. On the other hand, we want to burden young minds by loading them with so much so early.

Four-year-olds will now face competition since there won’t be many seats left in this class. This is because the current nursery batches have been promoted to the pre-primary level. If that happens, then the big question is what happens to the children who are not able to make it for admissions this year? will they get direct admission to Class I or will they be admitted to pre-primary? And, what will be the admission criteria? If, as a matter of chance, a few lucky four-year-olds studying in pre-nursery get through pre-primary, they will have to sit in a class with children who will be more than a year older to them and have done a year of schooling in nursery. So, there will be a difference in the age and obviously in IQ. We should understand that the purpose of good education is to make our children responsible citizens and give our country a bright future. If we act irresponsibly now, can we expect a better tomorrow?