Nirnimesh Kumar

Committee should frame a viable and comprehensive policy for pre-primary education in Delhi: Court

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Ashok Ganguly Committee to decide a uniform cut-off age for admissions to nursery class as well as duration of education in pre-primary classes in Government, Government-aided and private schools in the Capital.

The Court had set up the Committee headed by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Chairman Ashok Ganguly last year to suggest an alternative mechanism to interviewing of parents of wards for admissions to pre-primary classes. The panel had then recommended a "points system'' for admission in schools.

A Division Bench comprising Justice M.K. Sharma and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked the Committee to also take the opinions of two child psychologists of repute and a professor of the Department of Paediatrics of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and educationist Professor Yashpal, if possible.

The Committee should also associate the Delhi Government and its senior officers with the exercise and consider the views of the members of the Advisory Board constituted under Section 22 of the Delhi Education Act as also a cross section of parents including the parents whose children were given admissions at the age of three-plus pursuant to its order of December 8 last year, the Bench said. The Committee should try to find out a viable and a comprehensive policy for pre-primary education in Delhi so that admissions to pre-primary classes were made homogeneous and uniform, the judgment said.

The Bench further asked the Committee to give interim recommendations if it was not possible for it to submit a complete report so that its recommendations could be made applicable in the coming academic session beginning April 1.The Government shall upon due consideration of the recommendations of the Committee take all appropriate measures under the law to regulate and streamline the process and procedure of admissions of children to pre-primary and primary classes of all Government, Government-aided and private schools so as to have homogeneity, uniformity and equality.

The judgment came on an application by the Delhi Government urging the Court to fix three-and-a-half years as the age eligibility for admissions to nursery class.

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