A state school education department circular introducing maximum age criteria for Nursery to Class I admissions for academic year 2022-23 has led to confusion among parents and schools as most institutes have already completed the admission process.
The Director of Education (Primary) Dinkar Temkar, however, maintained that the maximum age criteria is only to be followed for Right To Education (RTE) Act admissions, as it is a technical requirement for the software used for such admissions.
A circular issued on March 3 has stated that a child seeking admission to Nursery should have completed a minimum of three years and maximum of four-and-a-half years of age by the cut-off date of the new academic year – December 31, 2022. For Junior KG, the minimum age is four years and maximum age is five-and-a-half years.
While there is no change in the minimum age criteria when compared to the previous year, the circular has introduced a maximum age limit this year. According to the schools, even if only RTE admissions consider the maximum age criteria, the age gap will be significant in classes.
“The admission process is already over and a new age criteria now can only cause confusion. Initially, when a circular was issued on February 28, the age criteria prescribed was completely new. In the new circular, though the minimum age limit stays the same, a maximum age limit has been prescribed, stating that it is to ensure that schools do not deny admissions for this reason,” said a private school principal.
“But the significant gap in the age is absurd as the maximum age limit is more than minimum age limit of the next class,” the principal said, adding that the circular also does not define clearly whether the age criteria is to be implemented for only admissions under the RTE Act or all admissions.
The February 28 had erroneously mentioned the maximum age cap as the minimum age requirement. This had led to confusion among schools, as it was referring only to RTE admissions. But the March 3 circular rectified the mistake and added a new column of maximum age limit.
Temkar, who issued the circular, said, “The maximum age criteria has been included this year, as it is a requirement in the software used for online admission process for RTE admissions. Schools can admit all other students till class I by following the prescribed minimum age criteria, which has not changed.”