New Delhi, Dec 21: Refusing to stay the nursery admission process, the Delhi High Court today said it would decide on January 6 whether pre-school admission should be regarded as entry level in which only a child above the age of 4 years can be enrolled.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also directed the Delhi government to file its reply within three weeks while hearing a plea filed by an NGO against the city government's recent order allowing unaided private schools here to go ahead with the admission of 3+ toddlers in pre-school (nursery) class.
The bench, however, refused to grant stay on the admission process which is scheduled to start from January 2.
Advocate Ashok Agarwal appearing for the NGO, Social Jurist, said that the government should not be allowed to frustrate the collective exercises including of the court in bringing the guidelines for the nursery admission.
However, it was opposed by the city government which said that it has done nothing wrong and the guidelines are as per the law and requested the court to dismiss the plea with heavy cost.
The NGO alleged that the order of the Directorate of Education (DoE) of Delhi Government was violative of an earlier judgement of the High Court which said no child below the age of four years would be admitted for formal schooling.
“The petitioner by the present application is seeking stay of the Order dated December 16, 2011 of the Govt. of NCT of Delhi to the extent it permits unaided recognised private schools of Delhi to conduct admission to pre-school (nursery) as entry level class in the academic session 2012-13,” the plea, filed through advocate Ashok Agarwal, said.
The NGO, in its PIL, had alleged that the government failed to prevent “unaided recognised private schools from admitting children below 4 years age in formal school.
The NGO said the pre-school (nursery) class, where 3+ kids are being admitted, should not allowed and formal education should start with the pre-primary class where 4+ kids should be admitted.
The application said that the Government's order, passed on December 16, was issued “in haste and in great disregard to the orders having been passed by this court in the PIL and also with a view to frustrate the present proceedings” as the next date of hearing is on December 21.
The NGO alleged that the government did not bother to wait for the “outcome of the hearing of the PIL” and allowed the private schools to conduct admission to pre-school (nursery) class as entry level class.
As a result, the unaided private schools would continue with their “pernicious practice of admitting children of 3+ (below 4 years) in pre-school treating it as an entry level for the academic session 2012-13 and thereafter promoting them to next class that is Pre-primary class and in the next academic year of 2013-14,” it said.
Earlier, the city government had told the High Court that it has approved and accepted the recommendations of the Ganguly Committee report on admission of toddlers.