The Delhi High Court will give its verdict on Friday on whether nursery classes held in private unaided schools can continue to be the feeder class for promotion to kindergarten.
After having made clear that the age criteria of 3+ for admission to nursery was neither unreasonable nor violative of any statutory provisions, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw will deliver the court’s final word to determine if the existing system of promotion to higher classes from nursery will continue.
The petition in the matter was filed by NGO ‘Social Jurist’, challenging the December 16 notification of the Directorate of Education (DoE) that laid down guidelines for admission in nursery for the current academic year.
While the petitioner had also challenged the 3+age criteria for admission, saying no formal education could start before attaining four years, the court had on January 6 made it clear that the age criteria was valid.
The court had said the only contentious issue was whether private schools in the city could be permitted to treat nursery as the feeder class for admitting children.
This, the court said, was an issue since there could be some parents who did not want to send children to nursery but were compelled to do so because of the existing practice of schools promoting children from nursery and not allowing horizontal admission into KG. During the hearing, the Delhi government told the court that nursery has to be treated as entry level for formal schooling.
Government counsel Ruchi Sindhwani had submitted: “The entry level, as per the DoE’s December 16 notification, shall depend on whether a particular school has nursery class or not... wherever there are nursery classes, it has to be deemed as entry level for all such schools.”
Relying on provisions of the Delhi School Education Act and the Right To Education Act, Sindhwani said, while the former law did not prescribe the minimum age of when schooling should start (hence, the 3+ age criteria for nursery was valid), the RTE Act put an obligation on the government to prepare children for elementary education, which starts from Class I.
The Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools, also a party in the case, has defended the prevailing system saying the continuity in education had proved to be fruitful for children and, hence, the promotion from nursery to KG will only serve the interests of