A scene from a Thiruvananthapuram school | Photo: Mathrubhumi/Unnikrishnan MP
New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Education has directed state governments and Union Territories to align their age of admission for class 1 to 6 plus years, the ministry said on Wednesday.
In line with the recommendations of the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) for strengthening of learning of children at the 'foundational stage' as a national priority for the country, Education Ministry has reiterated directions to all the State Governments and UT administrations to align their age to admission with the policy and provide admission to Grade-I at the age of 6 years.
The centre has also requested states to initiate the process of designing and running a two years Diploma in Preschool Education (DPSE) course.
The course is expected to be designed by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and run, and implemented through the District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs) under the supervision and hold of SCERTs, the official added.
According to the ministry, the foundational stage consists of 5 years of learning opportunities for all children (between 3 to 8 years) which includes 3 years of preschool education and 2 years of early primary Grade-I and Grade II.
The ministry also said that the policy thus promotes seamless learning and development of children from preschool to Class 2.
"This can only be done by ensuring accessibility to three years of quality preschool education for all children studying in Anganwadis or Government or Government-aided, private and NGO run preschool centers," it further said, adding that the most important factor at the foundational stage is the availability of qualified teachers who are specially trained in the age and developmentally appropriate curriculum and pedagogy.
Considering this factor the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) was also launched on October 20, 2022.
To fulfil this vision, the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education sent a letter to the state governments and UT administrations.