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Should there be admission tests for Nursery Classes?

Updated on June 4, 2010


Indian education system needs a revamp. Children are taught to write from A to Z and from 1 to 100, apart from rhymes, and G.K. in the play school and pre KG classes. They are even loaded with homework. At this age, when they could be slowly introduced to alphabets and numbers and should be allowed to play, why are our schools and play homes burdening them with writing exercises?


During my search for a playschool for my son, I could not find one without a conventional teaching method. A majority of the play schools informs the parents that they will prepare these children for the nursery admissions. These small kids are made to write each alphabet 70-90 times a day. Don’t you think it is too much?


Once during a book exhibition, I came across a 160 page book which boasts of “prepared for your child’s admission in renowned & leading public schools”. Should these kids be assessed and tested for knowledge before they start schooling? Will these tests and interviews give a true picture of the ability of a child? Are the schools right in eliminating the children who don’t clear the selection process? Shouldn’t they tap, nurture and develop the potential in each child?


I personally do not agree to this type of screening at this level. Schools cannot ascertain the actual potential of a child through a test or an interview. My own child belongs to that group of children who are quite intelligent and are capable of learning, but won’t communicate quickly to strangers. Some children might be good speakers; others might be good learners and still others at something else. It is the responsibility of schools to develop the skills and talent latent in a child. Are the schools worried only about the academic performance of a child?  Even the schools who claim to teach through play method end up with less play and more teach and write.


How many child friendly schools are really “child friendly”? The Indian Education System needs a revamping starting from lower level.


Some of the schools keep these admission tests and interviews as a pretext to ask for donations from the parents. It is a known fact at least in South India that a majority of the private schools do collect donations while seeking admissions. After all education is also a business bhai! And our government run schools are not up to mark. Why don’t the government and the concerned authorities ban donations for admissions for primary education?

Do you think admissions tests/interviews are required for admission to the nursery classes?

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    • profile image

      pauls_boat 7 years ago

      this school sounds like it is trying to brain wash the kids not teach them, it is much easier to force kids to learn by parrot fashion then to carry out real teaching,

      they may remember what every word in a book is but never know what the meaning is.

      i think most schools are forced to teach this way due to there being too many children in each class and not enough teachers if there are 30 children in a class then they can only get 2 minutes personal tuition per hr if the teacher does not carry out any general teaching as most teachers split there hour up to 50% general teaching and 50% personal teaching then the children only get around 1 minute per hr of school and the school day being around 6 to 7 hrs per day then each child only receives around 6 or 7 minutes per day of private tuition, not quite enough to bring out the best in the children.

      to get the best you can for your children you have to either pay for private tuition or do it your self.

    • nkrohini profile image

      Kavitha Rajeev Kumar 7 years ago from India

      Hi Polly,My son is in Class1.Though his books are divided into term-wise, he has English,Mathematics,Environmental Studies,G.K.,Hindi Text book,Hindi Worksheet,that needs to be carried everyday to school apart from the notebooks for these subjects,+ two rough notes(one a two line note book & another a four line note book).Then he has to carry a pencil box,his crayons set,a snack box,a lunch box, a water bottle & the school diary daily to his school.

      He gets homework almost daily.Now though he is having summer vacations for two months,he has a lot to write and learn- has to finish a 40 page cursive writing book,alphabets a-z,number words 1-100,hindi alphabets and words,learn one english rhyme and a hindi rhyme,learn to read the first few chapters of all these above mentioned textbooks.

      Moral of the story:No vacations,kiddo! Learn!!

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 7 years ago from UK

      A 6kg bag does sound a son did not even have a bag at all at that age, only a lunch box. Even now he is nearly ten he has hardly anything in his bag, apart from lunch and sometimes sports clothes. He gets maths homework once a week, and five words to learn to spell. And that's about it. Occasionally some English homework, but not often. How much homework do children get in India? For me it's interesting learning about other countries attitudes to schooling :)

    • nkrohini profile image

      Kavitha Rajeev Kumar 7 years ago from India

      Thanks Polly, for ur valuable feedback.In India, the scenario is entirely different.Most of the play schools start admissions when the children are at the age of 3 years or even less.Pre-primary education starts at the age of 3+. And the intake age for primary school (i.e.Class I)is 5 or 6 years.

      I personally feel the burden on these small children is bit too much in India.And my 5.5 yers old son's school bag weighs around 6kgs.

    • Polly C profile image

      Polly C 7 years ago from UK

      I completely agree with you, children should not be tested at this young age, and furthermore it is no reflection on how much they will achieve when they are older.

      I live in England and my son went to a private nursery three times per week prior to starting primary school. It was all about play and the most they were encouraged to do is pick out their name on a card from all the other children's names when they arrived. But even then, they didn't have to do this if they didn't want to. There were fun activities like painting, building etc, yet no activity was compulsory. Everything was centred on play and the children could pretty much play as they chose.

      Here in England children start school at the beginning of the school year during which they turn five. My son was only just over four, one of the youngest in the year. Even then, he was not ready for learning in a school environment. I thought he was too young. They brought home reading books, but he could not recognise any of the words, not even realise when two words were exactly the same. Yet now he is nine and he is one of the best readers in his class - he reads books written for young adults.

      Children develop at their own pace and trying to achieve too much too early can create feelings of stress and inadequacy, I believe. Here, we have SATS tests at age seven and the majority of parents and teachers are against testing at this age, even. They are calling for it to be phased out as it serves no purpose.

      In many other countries in Europe, children do not start primary school at all until the age of six or seven and studies have shown that this does not have any negative impact on their learning, in fact is has the opposite. Until then, they are at kindergarten, where play is the main focus.

      Sorry my comment it is bit long, it has almost turned into a hub itself...I got a bit carried away! :)