– Amrita Ghosh
In view of the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation in the national capital, the Delhi High Court has asked the state government to consider a representation by a Delhi-based lawyer that admission of children to nursery class be postponed in the upcoming academic session for 2021-22.
Justice Prateek Jalan recorded the statement made by the counsel for Delhi government that the opinion provided by the petitioner in his representation will be taken into account while taking any decision with regard to nursery admissions.
The High Court, which said it has not expressed any view on the merits of the plea, disposed of the petition after petitioner cum lawyer Rajat Vats conveyed satisfaction with this order. Vats said he has made a representation before the authorities on December 12, 2020, but no response has been received yet, after which he approached the court.
“The postponement of nursery admissions is not a wise decision because it is going to be very difficult to fill the yearlong learning gap of children. It is absolutely unfair to deprive only the Delhi kids from familiarising them with school and its environment,” says Jyoti Arora, principal, Mount Abu Public School, Rohini, Delhi.
Managing the salaries of preschool teachers and infrastructural costs are other challenging factors according to Arora.
During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh submitted that no guidelines have yet been issued by the government for nursery or entry-level for the upcoming academic session. He also contended that the petition was premature as there can be no nursery admissions till the guidelines are issued.
“The admission process should be held as per the schedule and the government should notify this at the earliest,” feels L V Sehgal, principal at Bal Bharati Public School, GRH Marg, Delhi. “Any child kept out of formal education is affected adversely. National Education Policy 2020 lays emphasis on foundational learning which, if not implemented, will lead to gaps in learnings,” he says.
The petitioner told the court that some private schools have already started the nursery admission process without guidelines.
Certain directions are required to be issued to protect the fundamental rights of children in the age group of 3 to 4 years regarding the nursery admissions which the government of NCT of Delhi is likely to grant permission for physical or online courses, just to give financial benefits to school managements without considering interest of children, the representation said.
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