Forcing Children To Go To A Pre-School Below The Age Of 3 Years Is An Illegal Act: Gujarat High Court






Case Title: Shubhra Hiteshbhai Gupta vs State of Gujarat

A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice NV Anjaria of Gujarat High Court dismissed petitions by the parents challenging the State government’s decision to prohibit schools from admitting children below the age of 6 to Class 1 from the current academic year (2023-24) onwards.

The petitions was filed by the parents challenging the notification of the state government, wherein the state government had directed the school to not to admit the children who are below the age of 6 years in class 1.

The parents of the children contended that since their children had completed their elementary education, therefore, allowed their admission in class 1.

While rejecting the contentions of the parents, the bench noted that under Right To Education Act, the right to free and compulsory education is available only to children who attains the 6 years of age.  

The right conferred upon a child by the constitutional provision of Article 21A and the RTE Act, 2009 begins after completion of age of 6 years. A conjoint reading of various provisions of the RTE Act, 2009 makes it clear that a child above the age of 6 years cannot be denied in a formal school and the State is mandated to take all necessary measures that such a child who falls within the definition of ‘child’ under the RTE Act, 2009, completes his or her elementary education without any rider”.

It is observed by the bench that the parents of the children admitted them in a pre-school before the completion of age of 3 years. And further added that the act of forcing children to go to pre-school below the age of 3 years is considered as an illegal act.

“Three years ‘early childhood care and education’ in a pre-school prepares a child to take admission in 1st standard in a formal school. The children who are before us, have been admitted in a pre-school by their parents before completion of age of 3 years, prescribed minimum age for admission in a pre-school in the RTE”.

“Forcing children to go to a pre-school below the age of 3 years is an illegal act on the part of the parents who are petitioners before us. The contention that the children are school-ready as they have completed 3 years of elementary education in a preschool having been admitted in the Academic Session 2020-21, therefore, does not impress us at all.”

The bench while rejecting the arguments of the petitioners explained that the minimum age requirement of 6 years for children to take admission in class 1 had a rationale.

While upholding the notification of the state government, justice said that  “It was noted that quality of early childhood care and education is not available to crores of young children, particularly children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Strong investment in early childhood care and education has the potential to give all young children such access, enabling them to participate and flourish in the educational system throughout their lives”.

Share this

Recent Updates


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More like this

error: Content is protected !!