In January 2015, the education department had issued a government resolution setting an age criterion for school admissions. The move was in line with requirements under the RTE Act, which mandates that all students in class I must be six years old. To fulfil this rule by 2019, schools last year began to admit to only children who had completed three years by July 31to nursery and four-and-a-half years to senior kindergarten.
Last week, when the state issued the rules and schedule for the 25% quota under the RTE Act, the cut-off date was changed to September 30. This will enable numerous children who would have had to sit out of the formal schooling system for almost a year if they were born between July 31and September 30. What's more, the state is now extending the cut-off date for all children.The new rule will apply to institutions under all the boards, including CBSE and ICSE.
'In RTE admission GR we have mentioned September 30. Hence we have to modify our earlier GR where the date mentioned is July 31. Accordingly a file has been submitted for approval to modify the dates,' said Nandkumar, secretary of the school education department.
Last year, the age criterion resulted in fewer admissions to schools. Some schools had to even cut classes and will now have to make provisions for a larger intake of students in the next academic sessions when all children born between July 31, 2016 and September 30, 2017 will become eligible for admissions.
'We didn't get enough students last year and have one division less. We had to turn back students born after July 31 and now parents of those students will be upset with the school for following the rule last year and not this year. It will put school managements in a fix,' said Rohan Bhat, trustee of Children's Academy group of schools.