Udupi: The minimum age criteria for school admissions in the state has sparked confusion and frustration among parents and guardians. The rule, which states that a child must be four years old by June 1 to join LKG (Lower Kindergarten), has left many parents unsure about the future of their children’s education.
The Samagra Shikshana of Karnataka’s education department had issued a circular stating that children enrolled in LKG for the academic year 2023-24 should have turned four by June 1. This requirement ensures that these children will be six years old by the time they complete LKG, UKG (Upper Kindergarten), and join the first grade in 2025-26.
However, children who are at least 3 years and 11 months old on June 1 will not be eligible for enrollment, forcing them to wait another year before joining LKG.
The rule in question was established by the previous BJP government, aiming to align the state’s education system with the National Education Policy. This new rule has left parents and guardians perplexed. The lack of clarity from education department officials has only added to their frustration.
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The impact of this rule is also being felt in schools across the region. While LKG and UKG classes are already in progress in some government schools, due to the new age criteria, children aged 3 years and 10 months or 3 years and 11 months are unable to enroll in these schools.
It is worth noting that this rule applies to all schools, including government, aided, and unaided institutions. However, reports suggest that private and aided schools are not adhering to the rule as strictly as government schools, potentially exacerbating the disparity in enrollment requirements.
Some parents and guardians are now demanding a return to the previous rule, where children as young as 5 years and 9 months were allowed to join the first grade. They argue that the new rule only creates unnecessary anxiety and potentially wastes a year of a child’s education.