Srinagar, Mar 15: Scores of parents on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest against the management of Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson School for arbitrarily fixing the preschool age criteria for kids retrospectively when no other school in the Valley has done it.
The protesting parents assembled at Press Enclave here and demanded that Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson should, like other private schools, implement National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 prospectively.
“No other school has implemented the policy with retrospective effect but this school has created confusion among parents and students by implementing the NEP-2020 with retrospective effect,” the protesting parents said.
The parents and the school management are at loggerheads over the issue for the last few weeks.
Recently, the Directorate of School Education Kashmir (DSEK) in a letter issued on March 11, 2023 directed the management of Tyndale Biscoe and Mallison higher secondary school Srinagar to promote kids to next classes prospectively rather than retrospectively.
But, a day after the letter was issued, the school came up with fresh notification on preschool age criteria by giving retrospective effect to the NEP-2020.
The school in its notification stated that the management upholds the 5-year Foundational Stage for Lower Primary Department as envisaged in the aforementioned, based on which promotion will be initiated for session 2023-24.
“Tyndale-Biscoe and Mallinson Society Schools are following NEP 2020 and RTE 2009 for age criteria and all admissions in classes will be as per the guidelines laid and as per direction from Government and Order dated July 22 of 2022 passed by the High Court of J&K and Ladakh at Srinagar in WP(C) PIL No. 20/2020,” the school notification reads.
The school management decided that the age of kids in Nursery will be 3+ years, LKG (4+) UKG (5+) 1st primary (6+) and 2nd primary (7+).
The move agitated the parents who staged a protest at press enclave Srinagar demanding withdrawal of the fresh notification issued by the school on age criteria.
“Our simple demand is that KG students enrolled in the school in the last two years should be promoted to Class 1st primary as per the old scheme. The new age criteria should be followed for the new batch of students enrolled in Nursery class this year,” the parents said.
The parents said all other schools have promoted KG students to Class 1st as per the old scheme.
“But only Biscoe school is taking its own decisions which have left the students and parents in distress,” the parents said.
The parents said that they convened a few meetings with DSEK and were assured the adoption of NEP-2020 was prospective and no previous batches would be affected.
“But we do not understand why the school is still adamant to implement the directions issued by the DSEK,” the parents said.
The parents said the school has decided to implement NEP-2020 with effect from March 2023 but unnecessary retention of KG students in the same class for another year, after re-captioning this class as UKG, and keeping them in the same class for two-and a-half-year will discourage the students.
The protesting parents demanded personal intervention of the J&K Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir into the matter.
“The school should not be allowed to play with the students for their own vested interests,” the parents said. (KNO)
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