Putting a spanner in the work of the school education department, education minister Vinod Tawde tweeted on Friday that the minimum age-limit for admissions to nursery and Class 1, will become applicable from academic year 2016-17 and not the coming academic year as mentioned in the government resolution (GR) issued on January 21.
This means that while children under three years will be allowed to take admissions to nursery in academic year 2015-16, from 2016-17, schools will have to start implementing the age-limit as stipulated by the GR.
Tawde, who is currently in London attending an international education conference, announced his decision on micro-blogging site, Twitter, on Friday. “Had declared already any decision taken after 1st Jan will be implemented in next AY (academic year). So this admission GR will be implemented from Jun2016! (sic),” he tweeted.
In the winter session of the legislative assembly, last year, Tawde had stated no decisions will be taken in the middle of the academic year to avoid confusion among schools. But the GR on the age-limit was issued on January 21, after some schools had already started admissions.
Some schools are now relieved by the minister’s declaration, as they will not have to cancel their admissions. “We had admitted a few children between two-and-a-half and three years,” said Swati Popat Vats, president, Podar Education Network. “So the extension is welcome; it will give us more time to prepare.”
But others are annoyed with the education department’s changing decisions. “We have to keep changing our admission schedule to suit the department’s ad-hoc decisions,” said Father Francis Swamy, manager, St Xavier’s High School, Fort. “On Friday morning, we circulated the age-criteria and rules that need to be followed during admissions to the other Jesuit schools; now, these will have to be changed again.”
The parents too are confused. “I admitted my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter to a nursery. After getting to know about the age-limit, I was going to cancel her admission,” said AP Singh, a parent from Khar. “Now, I do not know what to do.”
Some schools said they will wait for an official circular from the government. “Our admission process has already been delayed. Now we will not be able to start unless we get a circular on Tawde’s decision,” said Father Bosco D’Mello, principal, Don Bosco School, Matunga. The school had already postponed its admissions once.