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Confusion over Nursery admission age limit remains

An application has been filed in the HC asking for the cut-off date for calculating a child's age, reports Anuradha Mukherjee.

india Updated: Jan 18, 2007 01:46 IST

The confusion over nursery admissions does not seem to end. Delhi education directorate on Wednesday filed an application in the High Court asking for the cut-off date for calculating a child's age to be fixed as August 31 of the academic year that admission is being sought in instead of April 1 when the sessions starts.

Educationists say that this will effectively mean that a child as young as 2+ will join nursery class instead of 4 year olds. The Court, however, is yet to take a decison on this.

"Children completing 3, 4 and 5 years of age by August 31 of the academic year for which admission is sought be allowed to seek admission in nursery, KG and Class I, respectively. The cut off date of calculation of age be fixed up as August 31 of the academic year for which admission is sought. The Hon’ble court may accordingly modify the order of 8.12.2006 which was an interim order and because of this order many of the students are likely to lose their one year," the application filed by the education directorate of the Delhi government says.

Schools and educationists who have been crying foul against what they term the lowering of the age limit for admission to nursery class to 3 years as per an earlier interim order of the court say the move is completely ill considered. "Does this mean that 2 + old toddlers will join mainstream schools now? The directorate has overlooked its own 1999 circular which says that a child cannot join pre-primary classes before he turns 4 years of age. This is a knee-jerk reaction on the government's part," said lawyer Ashok Aggarwal of NGO Social Jurists.

School principals say the move will create further confusion among parents. "I have not seen the application, but if something like this is afoot, it is appalling. It is going to be a distressful situation not only for parents and children, but also the education system. This has to be a mistake because children that young cannot even take care of themselves," said Ameeta Wattal, principal Springdales (Pusa Road).

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First Published: Jan 18, 2007 01:46 IST