Experts raise concerns over the relaxation in age criteria for nursery, Class 1 admissions across MaharashtraUpdated: Sep 21, 2020, 00:03 IST
Two days after the state education department relaxed the cut-off date for age criteria to nursery and Class 1 admissions in the state, experts have raised concerns over the new norms.
As per a government resolution released on September 18, a child has to complete three years by December 31 to be eligible for pre-primary/nursery admissions. Similarly, the child should have completed six years by the same date for admission to Class 1.
The earlier cut-off date for both these admissions was September 30. This effectively means that a 2.5-year-old and a 5.5-year-old child can get admission to nursery and Class 1 respectively from 2021-22.
Rohan Bhatt, trustee, Children’s Academy Group of schools said, “For CBSE/ICSE schools which begin their academic year in April, even a child who is two years, three months old will be eligible for nursery admissions. This is a big concern for educationists as it might have a detrimental impact on the development of children who start schooling at such a young age. Several research studies have shown the importance of age-appropriate learning which might not be achieved in this case.”
Swati Popat Vats, president of the Early Childhood Association said that there will also be a disparity between two children whose age differs by six months. “For example, 2.5-year-olds are able to use sentences of two to three words, while three-year-old toddlers can usually use sentences of up to five words or more. Curriculum designed for nursery is more in line with the three-year-old development domains and 2.5-year-olds would struggle to cope with it,” she added.