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