The AAP government has informed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday that over-age students of the economically backward section (EWS) and disadvantaged group (DG) have been applying for admissions in the primary classes causing problems to the school administration.
The Delhi government has requested the court to modify an earlier order passed by the High Court which put a stay on the government's circular to set upper age limit for admissions to the EWS/DG category.
Staking its claim, the government said that the Federation of Public Schools, Delhi has written to them that there is "drastic age difference amongst the list of students of pre-school, ranging from three years to seven years" which would create disparity among the students of the same class.
"The admission of the over-age students would create disparity among the students of same class and will disturb the dynamics of classroom teaching thereby leading to isolation as students with varied age groups have different learning oriented abilities," said the representation by the Federation of Public Schools.
According to the figures submitted by the Delhi government, as many as 1,13,991 students of various age groups had applied for admissions in primary classes which include students of age eight, nine and 10 who have applied for entry to nursery admission.
Admissions to the EWS/DG category are conducted through a lottery and even students with age more than four years get through as there is no upper age limit.
The government also submitted that a sub-committee set up by the Delhi School Education Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Additional Director of Education had submitted a report to look into the aspect of fixing the lower and upper age limit for admissions to school.
The report stated that for "better socio-psycho development of a child, he/she should be exposed to the peer group of his/her age so that the whole group represents the same kind of needs and behaviour.
However, according to Advocate Ashok Agarwal, this is a violation of the Right to Education (RTE) to the students of the EWS/DG category.
"In a country like India where there is so much child labour, if the students of these categories are not allowed admissions on the basis of age, then it would be a violation to their right to obtain education," said Agarwal.