Panaji: In June last year, the state government issued directions, based on the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, stating that only children who have completed three years as of May 31 should be granted admission to nursery schools. The directorate of education has now relaxed the age by six months following concerns and objections raised by parents.
“Keeping in mind Section 18 of the Goa, Daman and Diu School Education Act, 1984, it is to inform all heads of institutions having nursery classes that the age for admission of a child in pre-primary may be relaxed for a maximum of six months,” the directorate of education said.
Some parents in the state had even approached the courts objecting to the strict new age criteria for admissions to the nursery. Pre-primary schools had said they had been left confused with the new norms.
In 2021, some parents who had already paid the fees for nursery admissions had been asked to de-register their children following the age limit circular. Some parents were refused full reimbursement of their expenses despite the admission being withdrawn due to a government circular.
“It has been decided in terms of the National Education Policy, 2020, to inform all heads of institutions having nursery classes that the age for admission of the child from the academic year 2021-22 onwards for the first year of nursery class shall be three years complete on or before May 31,” the directorate of education circular of June 22, 2021, had stated.
Parents had disputed that if their children were born in June or July, they would be nearly four years old at admission during the next academic cycle. They felt the children were losing a year of education and, therefore, the norm being imposed was counter-productive.
One objection was that for children aged nearly four, schools would ask to test the students for basic nursery skills at the time of admissions, even though such testing is prohibited.