The Maharashtra government’s move to raise the birthdate cut-off for nursery, kindergarten (KG) and Class 1 admissions by two months has turned out to be a mixed bag for schools and parents.
Education officials on Friday informed principals that the cut-off date to reach the minimum age for kids to be enrolled in schools — which ranges from above three to five years, depending on the class — would be raised to September 30, 2017 from July 31, 2017.
While the new age-norms will allow schools to admit more students, principals fear that admissions would become chaotic as parents want children, who are born before September 30, to be shifted to higher classes from this academic year.
This, however, comes at a time when many schools have completed their admissions — between November and January — after having followed the earlier criteria.
Parents too are worried whether schools will be able to accommodate more students. “My daughter had missed out on admission this year as she was born in August. I hope she gets admission under the new rule,” said Kusaji Parab, a parent.
Families of children, who are eligible under the new criteria, are flooding schools with requests to admit their wards to a higher grade, claimed principals.
“The new rules are leading to utter chaos in schools,” said Rohan Bhat, chairperson of Children’s Academy Group of Schools, Kandivli and Malad. “Parents’ whose kids are studying in nursery this year because they could not meet the age criteria last year, will want them to move to junior KG directly.”
To prevent confusion this year, school principals said that the age-criteria should be made applicable only from the date on which the government resolution (GR) would be issued. “Our admissions for the coming academic year are almost done,” said Avnita Bir, principal, RN Podar School, Santacruz.
“The government will have to add some fine print in the GR so that we do not have to reverse all the admissions that have already been finalised,” said Bir.
Adding that schools require sufficient time to plan and implement the new age-limit, principals said that the education department must stop taking arbitrary decisions, without consulting pedagogies or educators.