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State puts off Centre’s circular on 6-year age limit for class I to next year

According to the private school managements, the state government’s stand will be beneficial for the state board schools, but would cause inconvenience to children studying in other board schools
Last Updated 05 March 2024, 00:16 IST

Bengaluru: The state government has decided that children must have attained 5.5 years of age for admission to class I, notwithstanding a circular from the Union Ministry of Education to make six years as the criteria, from the 2024-25 academic year (starting in June). 

The Centre’s circular had created confusion among schools and parents. However, to clear the confusion, the Department of School Education and Literacy has clarified that the age limit will be raised to six years only from the 2025-26 academic year.

Speaking to DH, a senior officer of the department said, “Our circular dated 15-11-2022 is not withdrawn and as per that, mandating six plus years for admissions to class 1 will come into effect in the state from the 2025-26 academic year.”

The officials of the department are writing about this to the officials concerned at the union education ministry.

The union government had asked states, in its circular issued on February 15, to undertake admissions to grade 1 at the age of six plus years, ensure compliance and share the implementation status of the same.

“We will write to the union ministry, communicating our stand,” the official said.

According to the private school managements, the state government’s stand will be beneficial for the state board schools, but would cause inconvenience to children studying in other board schools. 

Appeal to Centre

In his reaction, D Shashi Kumar, general secretary of Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, urged the union government to make it a uniform policy and implement it from the 2025-26 academic year.

“In our state, the Right to Education Act is implemented from nursery. Hence, the implementation of six plus years for grade 1 admissions from the 2025-26 academic year is proper. But when it comes to CBSE and ICSE schools, it will be a problem for kids studying in those schools when they relocate to other states,” Kumar said.

Kumar said the union government should reconsider its decision and implement it from the 2025-26 academic year to avoid inconveniences.

Following the Centre’s circular, some of the parents said CBSE and ICSE schools which have given seats considering the age as per state circular (5.5 years) are now giving fee refunds. Some are asking the children to repeat upper kindergarten (UKG).  

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(Published 05 March 2024, 00:16 IST)

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