BENGALURU: The age of kids for admission to Class 1 has been revised and lowered to five years and five months from the previous 5.10 years. This will be effective from this academic year.
Though the minimum age is 5 years 10 months as per the Act, the Department of Public Instruction has been amending it to 5 years 5 months every year. Putting a lid on the confusion created by reducing the age limit every year, the department says that this is a permanent order which will be applicable henceforth.
As per the revised order, from here on, the age of the child for admission to Class 1 in schools across the state — including government, aided and private unaided — will be not younger than 5.5 years as on June 1.
"To avoid a disadvantage to those kids who have been admitted to nursery classes even before completing 3.10 years, we took the decision to reduce the age for admission to Class 1 from 5.10 years to 5.5 years," a department official told The New Indian Express.
However, private schools have opposed this decision as it has come at a time when the schools are just about to reopen. The Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka has labelled it “double standards” by the department.
In an official communication, the association said, "This is a double standard order as most have been deprived by the relaxation when they had applied earlier under the RTE quota."
This means as the first round of RTE admission process is over with the previous minimum age of 5.10 years, the kids aged 5.5 years as per the new order will be deprived.
From this academic year, the age criteria for admission to first standard is minimum of 5.5 years and a maximum of 7 years.
According to private school managements, the age criteria of 1.5 years bandwidth is nothing but confusing and it is a discrimination between boards as they have different age criteria. These modifications keep changing now and then, causing long-term impact as most admission procedures were based on the old order.
"Despite asking the department to clarify such things earlier, the department relaxes the (admission) age every year at the end and we find these moves are just a conspiracy to encourage admissions in government schools. We demand that the department first fix the age criteria and not to relax the same just a few days before the academic year begins," said D Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the organisation.
However, now with the department passing a permanent order, there is little room for confusion.