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Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday rules out scrapping of nursery admission process this year in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

"As of now, there is no plan to scrap nursery admissions this year. We are late this year in issuing notification but it will happen," he told reporters.

Sisodia's comments came days after the Delhi High Court disposed of a petition seeking direction to the Aam Aadmi Party government not to grant admissions for nursery classes for the 2021-22 session for the 3-4 years age group due to COVID-19 pandemic after the Delhi government said it would consider the petitioner's representation and the petitioner expressed satisfaction.

Usually, the process to enter children in nursery in around 1,700 schools in Delhi begins in the last week of November. The Directorate of Education (DoE) releases guidelines and schools are asked to furnish required information, following which the application process is rolled out usually in December. However, there has been no development on it this year.

Delhi government officials had earlier said that a proposal to scrap nursery admissions is being considered as the schools have been closed since nine months due to COVID-19 and will remain closed till a vaccine is available, a whole year of online learning for small children seems unviable.

"The government has decided that schools will not reopen in Delhi till a vaccine is available. Even if they reopen, pre-primary students will be the last ones to start going to school. So, its unviable to enrol them for a year of online learning," an official had said last month.

"However, no final decision has been taken in this regard and any move will be planned in consultation with schools only," the official had added.

However, school principals were opposed to the idea.

Sisodia, who is also the Education minister of Delhi, reiterated that schools will not reopen till a vaccine is available for public.

Sisodia's comments come on a day schools reopened for class 10 and 12 students in view of preparation of board exams.

"We will wait for the vaccine to be made available to public at large and then a decision on reopening of schools for remaining classes will be taken," he said.

Meanwhile, Delhi government had recently announced to open schools for classes 10 and 12 from January 18 in the view of board exams. However, sending the child to school is completely optional for parents, it added.

This will be the first time that the Delhi government allowed the opening of schools since March 19, 2020, when educational institutions shut down ahead of the first lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak.

With agency inputs

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