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Admissions In Class Ist: Education Ministry Announces New Age Criteria For All States And Union Territories

Education Ministry reminds States and schools: Class 1 admission at “6+” years

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The Indian Education Ministry has reiterated to all States, Union Territories, and schools, including those in Jammu & Kashmir, that students can only be admitted to Class 1 at the age of “6+” years, instead of the previous practice of “5+” years. The Education Ministry’s reminder is in line with the latest National Education Policy’s emphasis on improving foundational learning by bringing early childhood care and education under the formal schooling system.

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The Department of School Education and Literacy has directed all States, Union Territories, and schools in Jammu & Kashmir to “align their age of admission with the policy and provide admission to Grade-I at the age of 6+ years.” It has also urged them to ensure accessibility to three years of quality preschool education for all children.

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Currently, several States and schools follow different age criteria for Class 1 admissions. In March 2022, the Centre had revealed that 14 States and Union Territories allow Class 1 admission for children who have not completed six years.

The strong foundation of early learning from age 3 is “aimed at promoting better overall learning, development, and well-being,” according to the NEP. The Ministry believes that aligning the age of admission will aid in achieving this goal, and schools in Jammu & Kashmir are urged to implement this policy.

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