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Nov 14, 2007 at 11:15pm IST

Court makes nursery admissions easy

New Delhi: In what comes as an ideal Children’s Day gift for parents and children, the Delhi High Court ruled schools can decide on criteria for nursery admissions. The court statement clears the air on the long-standing issue and could make way for a smoother, hassle-free admission process.

To ensure transparency in the process, the Director General of Education will monitor and approve every individual criteria of admissions that the school may come up with.

Expressing satisfaction with “most part of the affidavit”, the court also pulled up the government for leaving loopholes that could lead to harassment of parents. The government has also been asked to categorically mention in the affidavit if the interview of the parents has been ruled out.

Government has time till November 19 to tell the court if it can make these changes.

The court had to decide on the criteria of admission after the government and the private schools rejected the Ganguly Committee's 100-point criteria. The government wanted to maintain autonomy of all schools and said every school should decide its own admission criteria. It had also ruled out interviews and lottery systems.

Meanwhile, an NGO which has filed a PIL over nursery admissions in the Delhi High Court today raised objections to the plea of a group of private schools seeking review of court's earlier order fixing four years as the minimum age for admission to nursery.

"The present review petition is misconceived and misleading and the same deserves to be dismissed," the NGO, Social Jurist, said in an affidavit.

The counsel for NGO, Social Jurist, claimed that the Ganguly Committee had considered all the constitutional provisions before submitting its report in Court.

The NGO alleged that the school started the admission process before the state government took a final decision to implement four-year age criteria for nursery.

"Ganguly Committee has considered all relevant facts and laws in its report and has given a recommendation on the much-needed education reforms..if the suggestions were honestly implemented by the government, it would curb the commercialisation of education," PTI quoted NGO’s affidavit.

Meanwhile, with the intervention of Directorate of Education, Rukmini Devi Public School - accused of starting nursery admissions without waiting for the court order - has put its admission process on hold.

The Bench would hear the school's review petition on Thursday.

<table width="248" border="0" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="2"> <tr bgcolor="#AE111D"> <td height="20" valign="middle" bgcolor="#DB1524"><div align="center"><strong class="Wtext11">DURING THE UPA REGIME</strong></div></td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#e7e7e7"> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" />On July 26, a Division Bench of Chief Justice M K Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Khanna had fixed four years as the minimum age for admission to nursery on a petition filed by the NGO through its counsel Ashok Aggarwal.</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" /> On the suggestion of the court-appointed Ganguly Committee, the Bench had also asked the Delhi Government to issue direction to the schools to comply with provisions of the Delhi School Education Act on admitting only five-year-olds to Class I.</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" /> The Forum for Promotion of Quality Education for All - an association of about 460 private schools - argued the Bench's July 26 order fixing four years as the minimum age for nursery admissions was in conflict with the Constitution.</td> </tr> <tr> <td width="248" height="20" valign="middle" class="Btext11 pLeft10"><img src="/pix/common/bullet.gif" width="7" height="7" alt="bullet" /> The schools said that as per Article 21-A of the Constitution, the minimum age for Class I should be six years - allowing pre-primary schooling of two years for children.</td> </tr></table>
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