In a deviation from the no-detention policy under the Right To Education Act, the Delhi High Court has allowed a four-year-old girl to continue in LKG class for the academic session 2017-2018 on medical grounds. As per the petition filed by the counsel of the girl’s father, Ashok Agarwal, the child was born prematurely and weighed only 850 grams at the time. The petition also stated that she spent three months after birth in intensive care.
All her physical milestones were delayed, the plea said, adding that she lagged behind children of her own age. However, her father had to admit her to nursery in 2016-2017 — when she turned three — because of the Delhi government’s regulations for admission to schools, which state that no child above three years of age is eligible for nursery admission.
Speaking to The Indian Express, the girl’s father said, “I got my daughter admitted to school despite my unwillingness because if I did not get her admitted, she would not have got admission subsequently.” The plea stated that she fared poorly in all subjects, following which her parents consulted several doctors, including occupational therapist, speech therapist and child psychiatrist. But since she still lagged behind, she requires more time before being promoted to UKG, the plea said.
It also said that despite representations to the manager of the school, as well as the deputy director and director of education, the father failed to get a response. Meanwhile, he received the girl’s report card, which reflected poor performance.
“The action on part of the school violates provisions of the Delhi School Education Act, 1973 and Rights of People with Disabi-lities Act, 2016,” the plea said.
Justice Indermeet Kaur said, “The present petition has been premised on the medical condition of the ward of the petitioner. Submission was that since the child of the petitioner was a slow learner, she should be allowed to repeat her LKG class. As noted, there is an interim order which was passed on February 27, 2017, in favour of the ward of the petitioner.” Noting that as per the Delhi government’s affidavit, there was no objection to the petition, the judge confirmed the interim order.