'Take kids below 4 yrs in govt schools'

'Take kids below 4 yrs in govt schools'

Parents move HC, demand two years of informal education at nursery level

Parents in Delhi moved the High Court to urge the government and
local bodies to begin pre-school classes in government run schools beginning 2012-13.

Parents have demanded for two years of pre-primary schooling across government schools which will include pre-school and nursery classes for children within the age group of three to four years with an aim to ensure that children are not denied admission on the ground of age.

The Directorate of Education runs nearly 1,000 schools of which 382 schools are known as Sarvodaya schools. One year pre-primary classes are run in as many as 331 such schools and only children above four years are admitted.

Parents have alleged that all children within the four plus age group are not able to get admission on grounds of limited seats.

There are close to 1,750 Municipal Corporation of Delhi run primary schools out of which pre-primary classes are operational in 350 schools. MCD also runs 39 independent nursery schools where children of four plus ages are admitted.

“We have submitted that the Delhi government, MCD, New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment Board provide education to children of four plus age in some of their schools but do not provide education to children above three years and below four years of age,” said Advocate M N Singh, who acted as a co-ordinator for parents.

The petition states that in terms of Section 11 of the RTE Act, 2009, schools whether government run or private are obliged to start two years of pre-primary classes which ideally should include preschool and nursery in all formal schools.

A bench of HC judges had given a judgement on January 27, 2012 which prevents unaided recognised schools in Delhi from admitting children below four years of age in formal schools beginning this academic year.

The judgement had stated: “We want to make it clear that focus on ‘care and education’ at pre-school level has to be different. The children are not to be burdened with any textbooks or homework.

This part of school may be treated as nursery, Montessori, kindergarten and play school.  Pre-school is not to be treated as part of formal education and at that stage.”

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