Admissions Disparities: Schools across Kashmir mocks at New Education Policy 2020

Admissions Disparities: Schools across Kashmir mocks at New Education Policy 2020

Will smoothly transition into new admission age norm next admission session: Director Education

A year after the New Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) was framed and administrations of all states and union territories were directed to ensure that admission to schools was in accordance with it, J&K is yet to ensure conformity and uniformity in the age when a child is admitted in schools.

This month a number of schools in Kashmir advertised admissions to their lower-most classes: Nursery or Kindergartens. However, there is a huge variation in the age of eligibility in these admission notices.

While one school admits the child to LKG after he or she reaches three years of age, the other admits to Nursery at that age, yet there are some others that seek applications from parents of children aged 4 years and above to be eligible for admission to KG. The NEP 2020 envisages children to have attained the age of 6 years when they reach class 1st.

In many schools, students are around five years old when they are in class 1st, thus having the wrong start for the entire educational career. As per the NEP 2020, the foundation stage is the first three years of education, typically the pre-primary, including two years of Kindergarten and Classes 1st and 2nd, two years of primary.

The structure seeks to reduce the load on students due to the primary curriculum seeping into pre-primary years. Many researchers that contributed to the policy had termed this shrinking of pre-primary years as a source of burden, anxiety, and stress for the little learners who are too young to engage in reading, writing, and number operations.

However, the delay in implementation of the policy in J&K defeats the purpose of alleviating this burden. In March this year, the Department of Education and Literacy, GoI directed all the states including J&K to align their age of admission to NEP 2020 and put a roadmap in place in this regard.

The roadmap is required to be shared with the Centre. However, no such documentation and process have been taken up yet in J&K. Director School Education Kashmir, TasadduqHussain Mir said that the government was cognisant of this issue and the directive to the schools could not be issued this year due to the pandemic.

“Already, there are many changes and issues being faced by the schools and we are hoping to have a smooth transition into NEP 2020 age slot by the next year,” he said. Mir said that this year the schools in the Kashmir division were continuing with their existing admission structure.

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