In a case of its kind, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed that a 4-year-old girl studying in LKG be allowed to repeat the class and not promoted to the next higher class as her parents said she is a slow learner with delayed cognitive development and requires more time to cope up with other children of her age and promoting her to next level would be of no good.
Justice Indermeet Kaur confirmed that the minor be retained in LKG and allowed to repeat the class for the next academic session.
The court had provided an interim relief in favour of the child on March 27. On Wednesday, it confirmed that order.
In this case, north west Delhi resident Sandeep Dhawan, the father of the minor had come to court through advocate and social activist Ashok Agarwal praying that her daughter, a student of Montfort School, be allowed to repeat LKG class on medical grounds.
The school, however, was refusing to oblige even as the girl’s progress report for 2016-17 shows poor performance.
Agarwal told the court that the minor was born three months before the due date and weighed only 850 grams at the time of birth. She had to spend three months in intensive care and all her physical development milestones were delayed and she lagged behind the kids her age. She could not develop speech in time, which further delayed her learning.
Agarwal said: “Due to all these shortcomings and the progress report from the school, the parents consulted multiple doctors, including occupational therapist, speech therapist and child psychiatrist to explore all the possible means by which they can support the child so she can develop speech quickly and learn at pace with the peers. She has been receiving occupation therapy sessions and counseling which have helped her develop skills but she is still lagging behind her peers in the class and needs more time to learn the basic education before she can be promoted to UKG.”
Before the court, the Delhi government’s Department of Education supported the parents and said the petitioner's child is a specially-abled child with special needs as is required to be dealt with as per her mental age and the provisions of DSEAR, 1973, does not preclude the detention of the petitioner's child to retain her to a class appropriate to his/her mental age.
The school also nudged and did not oppose the petition, leading to the court confirming its earlier relief.
Following the high court order, petitioner sandeep dhawan said, "I never believed before meeting Ashok Agarwal that there would be any hope in going to the court but he gave me assurance and it reinstated my bellief in the judiciary. This was a very important decision for my kid's future as the school was not cooperating. We had lost all hopes"