Prominent Catholic schools in Mumbai have put admissions to pre-primary and primary sections on hold, waiting for the government to notify them on the age limit to be followed during the process.
Usually, these schools start selling admission forms in January.
Hindustan Times had, on January 5, reported how a proposal on setting a uniform age limit for pre-primary and primary admissions was waiting for the nod of the school education minister Vinod Tawde.
The proposal was submitted by the then school education commissioner S Chokhalingam to avoid confusion during admissions.
The proposed age limit was six years for Class 1, which means five for senior kindergarten (sr KG), four for junior kindergarten (jr KG) and three for nursery students. This is different from the age limit currently being followed by schools.
St Mary’s School, SSC, Mazagaon, usually admits threeand-a-half year olds to jr KG, four-and-a-half year olds to sr KG and so on. If the proposed age limit is put in effect, the school will have to change its admission criteria.
Hence, the school has deferred its admission process, which was to begin on Thursday to February. “We had a management meeting on Thursday and it was decided that the admissions will be postponed till there is more clarity on the issue,” said Father Baptist Pinto, principal of the school.
Similarly, Don Bosco School, Matunga, has also postponed selling of admission for ms to February. “We had put up a notice in the school stating that admissions will start from January 27-28, but now we will take it down,” said Father Bosco D’Mello, principal.
However, schools are unsure as to when they will receive the circular. “There is no word on when the government plans to bring out the circulars,” said Father Francis Swamy, manager, St Xavier’s School, Fort. “If the circular is not out by the end of the month, we will start our admissions according to our own age criteria.”
On the other hand, private unaided schools and those affiliated to non-state boards have decided not to wait for the circular and have already begun their admission process. “We will welcome a uniform age limit, but it will not be possible to follow it this year as our admissions process goes on between November and January,” said Fatima Agarkar, managing trustee, JBCN International Schools, Lower Parel, Andheri and Borivli.
Similarly, St Peter’s Mazagaon, ICSE, has also started admissions. “Our academic year begins in March, so we cannot afford to delay admissions,” said E D’monte, principal.