The School Education Department (SED) earlier ordered to shift the examination session of class 10th to 12th students to March from the current academic session.
The government ordered that the regular annual examination of session 2022 for class 10th and 12th students will be held in March 2023.
The government is also mulling to shift the academic session for junior classes to March as well. However, their exams for the current year will likely be held in November this year and the exams of junior classes will be held in March from next year.
The crux is that the government has officially decided to adopt the uniform academic calendar in schools in sync with the national academic calendar.
However, the uncertainty prevails over the commencement of the admission process for the students in kindergarten classes of private schools.
While the government is yet to frame a schedule for the process, the private schools have already started the registration process for the kindergarten admission.
The move has left the parents in a dilemma saying that there was no clarity whether the admission process is supposed to start from the current month or it has to be started from March next year owing to the government decision to shift the academic session to March.
Recently, the Director School Education Kashmir (DSEK) made a statement that the department will take a call on commencement of the admission process in kindergarten classes. He also hinted that the admission was supposed to start in March.
However, the newspapers are flooded with advertisements about the registration of students for their admission in kindergarten classes.
This is contrary to the government claims and has left the parents and the students high and dry.
As per the private school advertisements, the registration for admission will start from the last week of this month.
Given the current status of the situation, the government is scheduled to start the new session from June after holding examinations in March. But if the kindergarten admissions are done in September-October month, the private schools will charge the fee for November to February month from the parents which will be an unnecessary burden for them.
Besides this, if the schools will start the admission process from this month, there will be no uniformity in the admission process which will prove costly for the parents as well.
“Why should we pay fees for the months of October, November, December, January and February if admissions are to start in March?,” asked a parent.
Earlier, the SED issued instructions to the private schools to follow a uniform admission calendar for enrolling students in kindergarten classes.
During the past year, the government ordered that the admission process in JKBOSE affiliated private schools in Kashmir and winter zone Jammu should start from the 3rd week of September followed by receipt of application forms from parents in the last week of September.
Finalisation of selection and displaying list of selected students and waiting list was supposed to be done by October 10 and collection of fees by October 20.
The private schools in Jammu division following the March session of academics were supposed to issue notification for admission in the 3rd week of January followed by issuance and receipt of application forms in the last week of January.
The finalization and display of selected children and waiting list is supposed to be completed by February 10 and submission of fee from selected children be completed by February 20.
As already reported, the divisional administration Kashmir recently constituted a committee to scrutinize and oversee the admission process in the private schools.
This move has come amid complaints against some private schools committing alleged irregularities in the admission process.
As per the order issued by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang Kundbarao Pole, the committee will scrutinize the admission process and the selection of the candidates under Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota as per the lease agreement executed between the Government and School authorities.
The committee will oversee the process of admission through the draw of lots if the number of forms received is more than the allocated quota.
But the committee can only oversee the admission process once the government issues revised guidelines for commencement of kindergarten admission in these schools.
It has also come to fore that some of the private schools have already collected the forms of the students and have collected the admission fee from students as well, in violation of the government orders.
The government has already imposed a blanket ban on charging an admission (capitation) fee from the parents at the time of admission of their kids in kindergarten classes.
So it has somehow become a staggering task for the committee as well to strictly scrutinise the kindergarten admission process in private schools.
Now coming to the point, the Kashmir schools have also switched to the March session from the current session, the admission process in Kindergarten classes should be started in January like the schools in the Jammu division.
However, in absence of any fresh guidelines from the government, the private schools have already started the admission process for kindergarten classes.
This is the right time for the government to issue fresh guidelines for the commencement of the admission process in Kindergarten classes to clear the ambiguity in the process.