Education dept makes Std I admissions harder in Gujarat

In a move that runs counter to the right to free and compulsory education for children in primary schools, the state's Education Department has issued a new circular making it mandatory for schools to admit only those children to first standard who are five years of age as on June 1.

This means the children who miss the cut-off date even by a week or so will have to wait for an entire year before they are admitted into schools.

Though the number of children who will hit because of this new condition is not yet known but Municipal Corporation School Board chairman Dr Jagdish Bhavsar admitted it would be a sizeable number. He, however, said the Board was helpless in the matter and that it had to follow the guidelines laid down by the education department.

"We have drawn the attention of the state eduction department to this during oral representations. We will soon approach the authorities with written requests as well," he said, adding that until the past academic year, even the children who would be five years of age in September were eligible to be admitted in the first standard.

Principal secretary (eduction) Sangeeta Singh was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.

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