Child has to be at least 5 years 10 months old to bag a seat in first grade, and parents aren’t happy with this
What’s the minimum age to admit a child to school? Well, it is a very tricky question and the answer depends on which part of the country you stay in. If you are in Andhra Pradesh, then a child of age five can be admitted to first grade. However, in Karnataka, the kid has to mandatorily attain the age of 5 years and 10 months to bag a seat in first grade.
By Kumaran P
The rule has been irking the parents. For instance, many parents who move to Karnataka are forced to make the child study the same class again. To counter this norm, the city teachers have raised their voice against the government rule to demand relaxation in the minimum age bar. Adding to the confusion, many international schools don’t accept kids with less than six years of age for the first grade. The confusion and the rule have left parents perplexed. Sunitha Rani, a parent told BM, “My daughter is 5 years 5 months old and we went to a school to get her admitted to first standard. The school management did not take our application and stated that she has to be 5 years 10 months to get admitted to 1st standard.”
Another parent, Poornima R said, “My daughter is 5 years 7 months, but I have been told that my daughter has to complete six years to be eligible for first standard admissions.” “This rule doesn’t make any sense. If the child is born in August, s/he will lose a year. There should be a range which is comfortable for us to get our wards admitted to the schools,” she added.
Basavaraj Gurikara, president of Karnataka State Primary School Teachers Association said, “This is really unfair and we condemn this. There should be a provision of volunteer admission so that parents and the management can decide what’s best for the child.”
Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Karnataka Association Management of English Medium schools told BM, “The association had requested the department to change the minimum age from 5 years 10 months (as per the RTE Act) to 5 years. The department has not considered the same till date. Moreover, the age criteria is not applicable to play homes or Nursery schools as they are not bound to this rule.”
RTE: THE REASON WHY K’TAKA INSISTS ON 5 YEARS 10 MONTHS
According to the RTE Act, free and compulsory education should be provided to children between the age group of 6 and 14 years. However, Section 11 and 12 of the said Act, that makes the provision for pre-school education, says that a school specified in clause (n) of section (2) imparts pre-school education, the provisions of clauses (a) to (c) shall apply for admission to such pre-school education. Hence, the state declared 3 years 10 months to 4 years 10 months for entry to LKG and 5 years 10 months for entry to 1st standard as on 1st June of the Academic Year as per the provisions of Section 20 of the Karnataka Education Act-1983 and the Right to Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2009. This applies from the year 2016-17.