Violation of Delhi government’s Directorate of Education’s (DoE) norms by several private schools in the national Capital is giving nightmares to parents seeking nursery admission for their tiny tots. And for those whose children were born on March 31, the confusion seems to have no end.The DoE had directed all unaided recognised private schools to set the lower age limit for students in nursery, KG, and Class I at three, four, and five years, as of March 31, 2018, respectively. It had also asked them to not implement any upper age limit. Flouting the directions, however, nearly 20 private schools have set an age bar in their criteria for nursery admissions. This has made many children eligible for admission in both nursery and KG.Some schools, including Fr. Peter Mermier Pre-School in Janakpuri, have issued a notice stating that “the child should complete 3 years of age by March 31, 2018. The upper limit is 4 years”. Some, including Venkateshwar International School in Dwarka, have stated that “children whose birth date falls between April 1, 2014 and March 21, 2015 are eligible for admission in nursery”.In the first case, a child born on March 31 will not be able to take admission in nursery. In the second case, the candidate will be eligible. Also, the child who turns four on March 31, 2019, can enroll in KG anywhere.Hassled by this confusing criteria, parents said they don’t know whether they should enroll their wards in nursery or KG. “My son will turn 4 on March 31, which makes him ineligible for admission in nursery in various schools. I don’t know what to do. I can’t enroll him directly in KG,” said Manisha Singh, a resident of east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar.Experts, at the same time, said the schools were not only violating the DoE norms by fixing the upper age criteria but also “misinterpreting” it. “Many schools have failed to comprehend the DoE’s upper age limit guideline set in 2015, which states that the candidate should be less than 4 years of age on March 31 of the year of admission. That makes the child born on March 31 not eligible for a nursery seat,” said Sumit Vohra, founder of admissions nursery.com.When contacted, DoE officials said they were not aware of the development and strict actions will be taken if any such violation of the order is found.THE CASEIn 2015, the Delhi government had declared that it would impose an upper age limit on nursery admissions. This part of the government notification was challenged in the High Court. Earlier this year, however, the court upheld the notification and allowed DoE to fix an upper limit for admission in entry level classes in private recognised unaided schools.
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