The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the stand of the Centre on a petition by a five-year-old girl against Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan’s decision setting six years as the minimum age for admission to Class 1 in Kendriya Vidyalayas in the upcoming academic year.
Justice Rekha Palli also sought response from the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and listed for further hearing on March 10 the petition which claims that the change in age criteria, which was earlier five years, is in violation of the right to education guaranteed to the petitioner under Articles 14, 21 and 21-A of the Constitution as well as under the provisions of Delhi School Education Act, 1973 and Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
The petitioner, a UKG student who was represented by lawyer Ashok Agarwal, claimed that KVS suddenly changed the admission criteria for Class 1 to six years by uploading the guidelines for admission to Kendriya Vidyalayas on its portal just four days before the admission process started last month.
The petition has stated that change is arbitrary, discriminatory, unjust, unreasonable, and without the authority of law and that it did not give sufficient time to the parents to make alternate arrangements.
“The change to six-plus years is an invention of the respondent KVS without any mandate from the NEP 2020 (the National Education Policy 2020) and that too in the disadvantage of children like the petitioner,” said the petition filed through the father of the girl.
It has added that most of the reputed private schools have closed their admission and as compared to students of other schools, children in KV would lose one year for no fault of their own.
“No comments were invited from affected parties, nor any public discussion held. Therefore, it is respectfully submitted that impugned guidelines suffer from unreasonableness and hit by Article 14 of Constitution of India,” said the petition which seeks a direction to the authorities to reframe the admission criteria in accordance with the law.