The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued a notice to the Delhi government, asking it to respond to a plea against the “maximum age” for admissions to nursery classes. The bench of Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked the government to reply to a plea “filed by” Master Uday Pratap Singh Kapoor, a three-year-old, through his mother Simran Brar.
According to a government notification issued earlier, only children “under four years” are eligible for admissions to nursery classes. As per the new norms, the petitioner would be eligible for admission only this year, as he would be four-years-old next year.
During the brief hearing, the bench expressed reservations about the policy, observing that children would be “excluded from the education system” by such policies.
The plea, filed through advocate Akhil Sachar, stated that “issuance of the impugned order seeks to do disservice to children as well as their parents by taking away their right to an education by introducing an age limit for admission to a school.”
The plea argued that “Grant of only one year to seek admission to a school is violative of a child’s rights under Articles 14, 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution of India. There can be no “age” for education; and capping the upper age for entering school is highly discriminatory and seeks to prejudice the rights of children and society.”
The plea stated, “A child who has barely turned three years old in March 2016 shall be constrained to take admission in a pre-school at such a tender age as compared to a child born in April 2013 who shall be at an advantage since he would take admission only in the following academic session of 2017 when he would be four years old. The three-year-old child shall be one of the youngest in his class and at that stage, the mental faculties of the child shall be less developed in comparison”.
However, the bench declined to issue any stay on nursery admissions and asked the government to file its response by February 1. The application process for nursery admissions has already begun and forms are available till January 22. The first list of admitted candidates is expected to be issued by February 15.