UAE school heads, parents welcome minimum age criteria for KG, Grade 1 admissions

Abu Dhabi - Children must be four years old to enrol in kindergarten and between 6-8 years old to enrol in Grade 1


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 7 Jan 2021, 5:51 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Jan 2021, 5:58 PM

Parents and educators have welcomed the changes made by education authorities to the minimum age for admissions of school students in kindergarten (KG) and Grade 1 levels across the country.

As per calculations released by UAE’s Education and Human Resources Council on Wednesday, after meeting the UAE Ministry of Education and relevant education authorities, a child must be four years old to be enrolled in KG. For Grade 1, a student must be between six and eight years old. This is effective from the academic year 2021-22 (August 31).

The education authorities have also agreed to update the date of calculating the age of admission for students in private schools that follow Indian, Pakistani and Japanese curriculums, where the academic term begins in April. The aforementioned ages apply from the academic year 2022-23 “with no exceptions”.

In Abu Dhabi, the minimum age for enrolment of pupils in KG1 has been 3.8 to 4.8 and 5.8 to 6.8 for Grade 1 pupils.

Anna Pagdiwalla, principal of Mayoor School in Abu Dhabi said that although her school is yet to receive the circular about the changes made to the minimum age for admission of pupils, she welcomes the idea.

“I believe it is a good move on the part of the education authorities. Having children enter education in kindergarten at the age of four years will enable them to grasp things better and understand better, she told Khaleej Times on Thursday.

“Kids don’t need to be pushed at a very early age into school, as they learn through various activities.”

Neeraj Bargava, principal of Abu Dhabi Indian School, says his school is yet to receive the circular about the changes too.

“We are yet to receive the circular about the new age criteria. But according to what I have read in the news, the minimum age for admissions has been increased by just a small margin of four months. I don’t think it will affect the pupils,” he said.

Indian father Ashraf Ahamed says he has no problem with the slight change in the age criteria for students’ admissions because the same applies elsewhere in the world.

“The new age criteria is good as it is the standard one for many countries. In India, a child is enrolled in KG 1 when they are four and in Grade 1 when they turn six,” he said.

Pakistani father, Mohammed Khan, said the new age criteria might make kids with just a few months left to turn four wait for almost another year to join school.

“I think the existing age criteria was also good because it allowed a child to begin schooling and they turn four when they are already in KG 1,” he said.

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