Although the Maharashtra school education department on Wednesday enforced an age limit of three years and above for nursery/playgroup, there is still no clarity on who will regulate the admissions and check if all schools are following the rule.
Moreover, schools that have already completed their admissions for the upcoming academic year demanded they should be given a grace period of one year to implement the new rules.
So far, as the pre-primary sector is unregulated, it does not come under the control of the school education department. While the primary section is controlled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the secondary falls under the deputy director of education.
The government resolution on the uniform age limit that was issued on Wednesday also does not mention who will check whether pre-schools are following the limit.
“We will see to it that the age limit is implemented and are working out the details,” said Mahaveer Mane, primary education director.
Most non-state board schools have already completed their admissions and are worried they will have to cancel admissions of students who are under three years.
“We have already admitted 20% students and want some concession this year,” said Swati Popat Vats, president of the Podar Education Network, which runs Podar Jumbo Kids chain of pre-schools. She added, “The government will have to ensure that the age limit is being followed by all schools or else it will lead to unfair competition among schools during admissions.”
Similarly, HVB Global Academy, Marine Lines, has already admitted children between two-and-a-half and three years. “As our academic session starts in March, we had to start our admission process,” said Chandrakanta Pathak, principal.
She added that schools affiliated to the Council of Indian School Certificate Examinations cannot admit children who complete three years as of July 31, as asked by the government. “The July 31 deadline is appropriate for state board schools as they start their session in June,” she said.
Even the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools are in a fix over the new age limit. “The CBSE board asks us to admit five-and-a-half year olds to Class 1, this is going against the state age limit,” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.