HC: Not to interfere in admission of kids below 4

Delhi High Court on Friday refused to interfere with the age criteria and admission process in pre-schools.

Updated: Jan 27, 2012, 17:07 PM IST

New Delhi: Three-plus-toddlers can be
admitted to pre-nursery classes with the Delhi High Court
on Friday refusing to interfere with the age criteria and
admission process in pre-schools saying "inclusive elementary
education" is needed for all children.

"Denying informal education to three-plus children would
be discriminatory and counterproductive," a bench headed by
Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri said while dismissing the plea
of an NGO that only children of four years and above be
admitted in schools.

The judgement came on a PIL filed by the NGO, Social
Jurist, which had sought court`s intervention in restraining
private unaided schools in the national capital from admitting
three plus kids in pre-school classes.

The bench, also comprising Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw,
differed with the findings of the Ganguly Committee which had
said that children below the age of four years should not be
burdened with the schooling process.

"We do not agree with the findings of Ganguly Committee
as even the Right to Education Act provides for the inclusive
elementary education for all the children since their
conception to eight years of age," the bench said.

It clarified that schools having pre-school (nursery)
or pre-primary classes at entry levels may continue with their
respective admission procedure.

The NGO in its petition had referred to the inconsistent
age criteria and admission process adopted by different
private schools here.

In its petition, the NGO had pointed out that some
schools have been admitting three plus children, while others
have been taking in only four plus children and this has led
to creation of two entry levels.

The High Court, however, refused to interfere with the
age criteria saying elementary education was necessary for all
the children and schools may stick to their respective
admission procedure.

The NGO, through its petition, had challenged December 16
order of the Delhi government that allowed schools to admit
children in nursery classes at the age of three instead of
four.

It had said the Delhi Education Act prescribed four years
of age for admission, but under the garb of Right to Education
(RTE) Act 2009, the government has allowed private schools to
admit children at the age of three itself.

The NGO had said the government was directed by the court
in 2007, to frame guidelines on the issue but it has failed to
do so till date.

It had alleged that the December 16 order of the
Directorate of Education (DoE) of Delhi government was
violative of an earlier judgement of the High Court, which
said no child below the age of four years would be admitted
for formal schooling.

The city government, however, had said the guidelines
were as per the law and had requested the court to dismiss the
PIL.

PTI