Thiruvananthapuram: The minimum age for admission to Class 1 in schools in the state will be five years, said Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty.
The nation has a long-standing custom of enrolling kids in the first grade when they turn five. The only way to raise the entry limit is by persuading the society. “Parents who want to register their kids in the first grade at age five will have the chance to do so in the upcoming academic year as well,” said the minister.
Last month, the Central Ministry of Education directed all states and Union Territories to fix the minimum age for Class 1 admission to six years in line with the National Education Policy, 2020.
However, the State took a stance that the Centre is yet to make it mandatory and that the matter can be considered upon the Union Government issuing a strict direction with respect to the minimum age. It further cited that the National Education Policy is yet to be fully implemented. Hence, the Kerala General Education Department is of the view that there is no need to change the current method followed in the state.
As of now, all students are joining schools and cases of students leaving the institutions are negligible. Also, the state has a well-established system of Anganwadi and preschool education, sources said.
If the minimum age is increased to six years all of a sudden, then the number of students joining Class 1 that year will fall by over one lakh. This may give rise to long-term consequences, officials pointed out.
The educational institutions in the state, including the schools that follow the central syllabus, have started the admission process for the next academic year. And many have already secured admission for their children who have attained five years of age.