Source: The post is based on the article “Only children above 6 must get Class 1 admission: govt.” published in The Hindu on 23rd February 2023
What is the News?
The Ministry of Education has reiterated its direction to the States and the Union Territories that children must be provided Class 1 admission at the age of “six-plus” instead of the earlier “five-plus”.
Why did the Ministry of Education ask states to adopt six years as the minimum age for admission to Class 1?
Firstly, to bring it in line with the government’s emphasis on improving foundational learning under the National Education Policy (NEP),2020. It will bring early childhood care and education under formal schooling and move it from the aegis of the Women and Child Development Ministry to the Education Ministry.
– Note: NEP 2020 envisages a 5+3+3+4 school system. It states that the first five years comprise three years of pre-school for the age groups of 3-6 years and two years of Classes 1 and 2 corresponding to the age group of six-eight years.
Secondly, there are wide variations in the age criteria among states when it comes to admission to Class 1. There are 14 states and Union Territories that allow Class 1 admission for children who have not completed six years.
– This anomaly results in the incorrect reporting of the enrollment of children in age-appropriate classes thus affecting the net enrollment ratios in different states and at the national level.