Monday, January 27, 2014

New rule may trap senior KG kids in same class

New rule may trap senior KG kids in same class

Mazhar Pathan & Bharat Yagnik, TNN Dec 6, 2013, 02.49AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Call it bad luck or the state government's arbitrariness, if your child is not five years old by May 31, 2014, he will not be promoted to Class 1 even if he completes senior KG in which he is currently enrolled. Take the case of Palash Modi who was born on July 26, 2009. He is a student of senior KG but is worried that he will not be promoted to Class I next year. His parents have received a circular informing them that as Palash won't be five-years-old on May 31 next year, he will not be promoted.
Schools have issued similar circulars based on last year's directive of the state education department, which said that "only students who had completed five years of age by June 1 will be given admission in class I." Earlier, the date by which students should have turned five was August 31. Now, the state government has decided to implement the age criteria under the Right to Education (RTE) Act and make it compulsory for students seeking admission in Class 1, to have turned five by May 31.
Worried by the different circulars issued by the schools, a group of parents met in Maninagar and decided to once again seek the high court's intervention. The parents' argument is that the decision not to admit a child turning five after May 31 instead of August 31 as decided earlier, was not only arbitrary but may adversely affect a child's future by forcing him to repeat senior KG without any reason.
The parents allege that the education authorities were aware about the rules from the beginning but they had issued a notification in this regard at the last moment. This has further aggravated the problem. They are demanding that the new rule be struck down.
Prashant Vyas, a parent, said that the school where his son studies has issued such a circular. "About 60-odd students will be affected and they will have to continue in the same class (senior KG). We parents of 3-4 schools have met and decided to file a petition in the high court seeking its intervention in the matter," Vyas said.
Nainaben Vora, another parent, said that the state government should have given a relaxation of two years so that junior KG students whose parents were not aware of the new rule at the time of admission, could also have benefited.
Jigar Modi, also a parent, said that students who turn five just 20 days after May 31 have also been denied any relaxation. "The government should not be so rigid and should give some relaxation," Modi said. Parents have now pinned their hopes for justice for their children on the high court.
Arbitrary changes
Last year, to implement rules stipulated by the Right to Education Act (RTE Act), the state education department had issued a circular saying that only students who had completed five years of age as on June 1, 2013, should be given admission in Class I.
Earlier, students who had completed five years on August 31 were given admission in Class I. Students who presented a certificate from the district education officer were also allowed admission if they had completed five years by Sept 30.

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