Court to decide age criterion on January 6
Jasleen Kaur | December 22, 2011
Jasleen Kaur is a concerned parent. She has a three-year-old daughter Paranika who will seek admission in school from next academic year. Paranika was born in May and is eligible for nursery admission as of now. But if the court raised the age criterion to four years, she will have to wait a year more. The court decision will come on January 6, and tens of thousands of parents like Jasleen Kaur are anxiously waiting for the pronouncement.
Paranika has been going to a private 'play school', near her home in east Delhi, for last one and a half years.
“I will fill forms for all schools in the locality but I am not sure what will court say. If it says the entry point should be 4+ then my daughter will have to go to play school for one more year,” says Kaur.
She thinks it is perfectly alright for a child to be in school at this age. “My daughter has learnt a lot in the playschool and it is the right age for her to go to a formal school. If the court says that the entry point should be 4 years, her whole year will be wasted,” she adds. The child will also end up spending one more year in a private play school which is practlically unregulated.
The Directorate of Education (DoE) recently passed an order allowing unaided private schools in the city to go ahead with the admission of 3+ children in pre-school (nursery) class. The admission process is scheduled to start from January 2.
Social Jurist, an NGO, filed a plea against the government’s order and said that pre-school classes should not be allowed and formal education should start with the pre-primary (KG) class where 4+ children should be admitted.
The Delhi high court on Wednesday refused to stay the nursery admission process. The court will decide on January 6 whether pre-school admission should be regarded as entry level. As of now, any child completing three years of age by March 31, 2012 will be eligible for admission to nursery.
The court however has asked the Delhi government to file its reply within three weeks.
Sumit Vohra, who runs admissionsnursery.com - a website when parents share information and tips about the annual ritual of nursery admission, says parents of children seeking admission in 2012 are insecure and not sure whether their child will be promoted to next standard if the court’s verdict goes in favour of the PIL filed by the NGO.
“Parents of those children who are born in April, May and June will suffer the most. If the entry point will be 4+ then these children will be 5+ when they will enter nursery.” He adds that parents are also concerned whether to fill the form or not because many schools sell the form for almost Rs 800. He adds, “Some schools, last year, gave extra points to children who studied in their play school.”
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