Sibal moots age-four cap in nursery admission

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Kapil Sibal_6786gUnion human resource development minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said only four-year-olds should be allowed in nursery classes, instead of the current practice in most Delhi schools of admitting three-year-olds. Recommending the age cap for admission into nursery classes, the minister said he would write to Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit and ask her to lessen the burden on young children.

Sibal said the age cap should be implemented not only in Delhi but across the country because "children should not be put through stress at such a tender age". "Admitting three-year-olds to nursery schools is like subjecting them to emotional stress. At this age, they should be allowed to explore the world around them," he said.

"The government will bring this matter before the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) for its consideration," he added. Sibal said Dikshit has assured him all help. Later, he received representations from parents and school principals on his nursery admission age proposal.

That apart, he suggested that the age cap for Class I should be six years. This recommendation corroborates the guidelines in the yet-to-be-implemented Right to Education Act. Sibal said nonformal schooling should have separate infrastructure - detached from the regular classrooms.

Earlier, the Ganguly Committee, which recommended school admission reforms, had also asked the Delhi government to make four the age limit for admission to "nursery" schools. The Delhi High Court and the state government accepted the committee's suggestions.

But advocate Ashok Agarwal said: "The committee had clearly stipulated that a child before the age of four should not go to a formal school. The Delhi government has failed to frame guidelines to ensure that the concept of nursery classes comes to an end."

-- indiatoday

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