Mumbai: Parents raise concerns on relaxation of cut-off date for school admissions
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Parents have raised mixed responses following the relaxation by the education department of the cut-off age date for school admissions from September 30 to December 31. A government resolution (GR) states a student must now have completed three and six years of age for admission to nursery and Class I, respectively, by December 31 instead of September 30 as required earlier.

Parents state this will allow more students to seek admissions. Anjali Ahuja, a parent said, "The relaxation of the date will allow more students to seek admissions. It will also open up space for a large number of students who otherwise miss the chance to secure seats."

The new cut-off date will be implemented from the next academic year. The state has also given the authority to principals to give a 15-day relaxation to students seeking admissions.

On the other hand, some parents state the entry level for Nursery and Grade 1 has been dropped with the cut-off dates moved from September to December. Yakub Shaikh, another parent said, "As per the GR, children as young as two years and four months will be able to start school in Nursery if the school year begins in April (private board) and if the school year begins in June (state board), children as young as two and a half year old will be starting school."

Also, Sumitha Shenoy, another parent said, "Furthermore, such a ruling goes against the spirit of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The RTE Act covers children from the age group of six to fourteen years. It was already diluted by the previous government by changing the cut-off date to September 30 from June 30. This new amendment has diluted the original cut-off date by another six months, thereby missing that cut-off by six months."

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Free Press Journal