Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty on Wednesday reiterated that it would continue the practice of admitting students to the class at the age of 5.
Union Education Ministry directed all states and Union Territories to admit students to Class 1 only at the age of six.
"The minimum age for first standard admission in the state will remain as 5. The prevailing practice in the country is to enroll children at the age of five in the first standard. The age limit can be increased only by taking the people into confidence and convincing them. Therefore, it has been decided to provide an opportunity for parents who want to enroll their children in the first standard at the age of five," Shivakutty told the reporters.
He further said that there is no need to change Kerala's education system as a "role model" for the whole country.
"The parents, who want to enrol their children in Class 1 at the age of five can do so in the next academic year (starting June)," he added.
"We have got the benefits of adopting such an approach. All children in the school-going age get enrolled in schools and their uninterrupted schooling is ensured up to Class 12," he said.
The Department of School Education and Literacy under the Union Education Ministry has recently directed all states and UTs to "align their age of admission with the policy and provide admission to Grade-I at the age of 6+ years".
"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 Union Education Ministry said in a statement earlier in February.
"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 centres," it added. (ANI)