Dozens barred from Standard I admissions

NAGPUR: Dozens of students in Nagpur won’t be able to secure admission in Std I in the 2020-21 academic session as they won’t turn six years of age by October 15, which is the most important criteria for admission.

The fault lies with schools which admitted these children a few years ago at nursery/KG level even though it was clear that they won’t turn six by the time they reach Std I. This never came up on the scanner because the education department’s control over schools start from Std I only. Now, the only option for those students is to repeat KG II and seek admission in Std I next year.

The state government introduced the minimum age criteria in a phased manner from the 2016-17 academic session with six years criteria being implemented from the current academic session.

Chintaman Vanjari, education officer (Nagpur district), said “Even last year we had a few cases like this. Students will have to repeat their kindergarten level because we cannot allow admissions in Std I if the child does not meet the age criteria.”

As per the earlier guidelines laid down by the education department, students should have completed six years of age on September 30 during the session when they take admission. A recent government resolution has allowed a relief of two weeks (October 15) for being able to complete the age criteria.

Some schools, mostly ‘budget’ ones, admitted students at pre-school level either due to ignorance or just to avoid missing out on admissions. Now three years later, such students find themselves stuck as they enter the ‘formal education’ phase of their lives.

Dipendra Lokhande, education officer (Chandrapur district), said “The data of all students being admitted in Std I is entered in a government portal. If the age criteria is not met, then the system won’t allow that admission. This portal, known by the acronym SARAL, exists only in Maharashtra and provides us a complete overview of statistics related to school education in the state.”

For education activists, the problem is who will pay the fee of such students who have to repeat KG II. Mohd Shahid Sharif, an education activist, said, “Parents are coming to our office and complaining about fees to be paid all over again. This is unfair to them as it is the responsibility of the school to ensure that all documentation is proper. Many times, parents are not aware of all the rules.”

Read 132 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 May 2020 05:00
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