Age Criteria Set For Pre-School Children By School Education Department

Srinagar: The School Education Department (SED) has notified age criteria for pre-school children with the directions to all the schools in Jammu and Kashmir division to implement National Education Policy (NEP) prospectively.

The move comes weeks after Greater Kashmir carried a series of stories on the issue to highlight the plight of the parents and pre-primary class students who were retained in the same class for the second consecutive year by giving retrospective effect to NEP-2020.

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Some private schools had come out with their own self-styled chart regarding 5-year Foundational Stage (Nursery+LKG+UKG+1+2), creating a lot of confusion among parents of kids who were already enrolled previously in these schools.

Following this, the School Education Department (SED) convened a meeting with the respective Director School Education Jammu and Kashmir and directed them to notify the age criteria for the schools under NEP.

“A large number of complaints were received from parents regarding denial of admission to their wards by various schools in class 1st on the plea that the age of their wards is less than six years and as per National Education Policy 2020, the age for admission in class 1st should be six years,” reads a circular issued by Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) Tasaduq Hussain Mir.

“As per the past practice, the children have got admitted at the age of 2+ years in nursery class and such students have completed three years in the pre-primary level and are now in the age group of 5+ years,” the circular reads.

The DSEK circular reads that withholding admission of such kids by a year will contribute to loss of an academic year as they are due for admission in class 1st in the session 2023-24.

“In view of the above, the matter has been examined after considering the concerns of all the stakeholders, notifications issued by various state governments in a series of deliberations,” it reads.

The DSEK has stated that it has been decided to “gradually” implement the NEP and relax the age criteria for admission to class 1st for the academic session 2023-24, in view of the transition period.

“Accordingly, the students who have completed two/three years in the pre-primary classes, as the case may be, and have attained the age of more than 5 years as on 31st March, 2023, shall be admitted in the Ist class in the academic session 2023-24,” the DSEK circular reads the copy of which has been sent to Principal Secretary SED for information and confirmation of the compliance.

The similar circular instructions have been issued by DSE Jammu Ravi Shankar Sharma with the instructions to all the schools in Jammu division that the students who have completed two or three years in the pre-primary classes and have attained the age of more than five years as on 31st March, 2023 be admitted in the Ist class in the current academic session.

The Chief Education Officers (CEOs), Principal DIETs and all Zonal Education Officers (ZEOs) have been asked for implementation of the circular instructions.

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