‘Child prodigy’ Ananya can’t be admitted to Class 9, says UP rights body
Uttar Pradesh children’s rights body said on Tuesday that Ananya Verma is not eligible to join Class 9 after interacting with the four-year-old child prodigy in Lucknow.
The Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (UPSCPCR) chairperson Juhie Singh, Vinika Karoli, who works with an NGO, and another expert Pooja Awasthi found that Ananya can read well but her level of understanding is not at par with a Class 9 student.
“She is no doubt a wonder girl. She can read Hindi and English text very well. But she cannot comprehend or explain what she read. Ananya recites without understanding. She can identify numbers but does not know anything about symbols of multiplication, division, addition or subtraction,” Juhie Singh told Hindustan Times after meeting Ananya.
“We found books on physics and chemistry in her bag but she was unable to tell something about the subject,” Singh said. “She can join Class 2 or 3 but for that, the child needs special training. If she goes to Class 9, she will be under immense mental pressure,” she added.
The commission has referred her to a child clinical psychologist and she will also undergo a scientific intelligence quotient test. Singh said that Ananya’s parents told the commission that they did not meet the district inspector of schools (DIoS) Umesh Tripathi who gave permission to Ananya for admission to Class 9. The commission will issue a notice to the DIoS seeking an explanation as to what prompted him to allow the girl to take admission in Class 9.
Vinod Ratra, the manager of St Meera’s School where Ananya was enrolled, said, “The child’s father has withdrawn Ananya. She is not coming to school anymore.”
“Ananya will study whatever the experts and child rights commission suggests. We will not put any undue pressure on this talented girl,” Ananya’s father Tej Bahadur, a sanitation supervisor at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), told HT.
Ananya’s elder sister, Sushma, also faced a similar situation. The UP board, however, helped her and Sushma appeared for the Class 10 examination at the age of 7. Sushma made it to the Limca Book of Records as the country’s youngest matriculate by passing the examination.
In 2013, Sushma went on to become the youngest science graduate from Lucknow University and then becoming the youngest post-graduate in microbiology from BBAU in 2015. She touched another milestone by enrolling for a PhD course the same year.
Her brother Shailendra graduated in computer science from Lucknow University in 2007 at the age of 14. He passed the examination with 74.93% marks and is now a software engineer in Bengaluru.