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Karnataka’s admission age norm: What’s the hurry? Ask schools and parents

July 28, 2022
– Reshma Ravishanker

That children could be repeating a year in UKG if they are not aged 6 by next June has invoked mixed responses from schools and the parents’ community.

While some have welcomed the education department’s move of fixing the minimum age for class 1 at six, the others have questioned the need for students who are already admitted repeating a year owing to this rule.

Maya Menon, founder-director of The Teacher Foundation said that having children admitted late in school or having them repeat a year would cause no harm.

“Children that age do not understand demotion or year repeat concepts. It is the adults who make a fuss about it. The proposal to have six years as a cut off age is not a new one. Infact, we must welcome this because when they are a year older, they adjust better to longer hours of school. They are developmentally ready at age 6. We don’t have to speed up everything for our children. Why do you always want to fast forward learning?

“Socially, emotionally, children need the time to get accustomed to classmates and schooling. Waiting another year is ok. I, as a parent, openly welcomed and incorporated that idea for my child and repeated a year in Montessori. Children can do a lot of things in that one year. Their foundation gets stronger,” said Maya that even repeating a year should not be demeaned.

Such is the thought of other parents as well. Shweta Sharan, founder, Bangalore Schools Facebook group said, I think that revising the minimum age for class 1 to 6 years can reduce some of the pressure on children. However, the revised primary school enrollment age has caused a lot of worry and confusion among parents in my community. Parents whose children will not turn 6 before June 1st, 2023 are worried that their children will have to repeat UKG and I can understand their anxiety. We hope to get more clarity on the order and how it will be implemented in the weeks to come.

Schools, however, worry about the impact it could have on students. Dr M Srinivasan, President of the Managements of Independent CBSE Schools Association however contradicted, “More than helping students, it will disturb the whole set up. Why is the department in such a great hurry to implement this? Who gives them the authority to say that any child should repeat a year because of a government order?

“Children don’t gain anything out of this. This circular must be rewritten to get this into force only for fresh admissions at the LKG level so that children are at the appropriate age. This cannot be enforced on students who are already enrolled in schools. Parents are bound to seek legal aid if this continues.”  

Also read: Karnataka: Minimum age for class 1 admission is 6 years

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