Following Prime Minister’s directive, the education ministry has decided to reconsider its decision to revoke the admission of underage students.

However, education officials said that this was just one-time consideration and does not mean a change in the policy.

This means the age criteria prescribed for pre-primary enrollment would remain six years and would be followed strictly from the next academic session.

Admission of 890 underage pre-primary students (below 5.5 years old) in public and private schools across the country was revoked in May and the student code of the children from the education ministry removed.

Following the directives, these 890 students can now join school after the summer break and will not have to repeat Class PP.

The Prime Minister’s directive comes following the response submitted by the education ministry on July 1 where it decided to stand by its decision to keep the admission age at six years. In the third week of June, a letter from the prime minster asked the ministry to extend and explore the possibility of reconsidering its decision.

However, an educaiton official said that the decision to revoke the decision now was based on the prime minister’s directive received on July 17.

The letter sent through the cabinet secretary had directed the ministry to allow the children to continue their education.

The official added that it was reconsidered since the letter had directed for one-time special consideration because the students had already completed half of the academic session.

Representatives of parents, proprietors and principals of private schools had submitted a petition to the prime minister on June 13 appealing the government to regularise the admission of underage pre-primary (PP) students for the 2019 academic session.

Parents are, however, still confused because most of the students, especially in the public schools, missed the mid-term examination. Students in the private schools had mostly appeared the exam even without the student codes.

The ministry official said that officials would re-punch all the removed student codes before the school resumes and the schools would be informed.

Yangchen C Rinzin