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Plea in Delhi HC says internal assessment process for Class X exams unconstitutional

The petition has been filed by Justice For All, an organization of lawyers and social activists ‘dedicated to the cause of the common man and particularly to the rights of the children relating to education and health

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ILNS: The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued notice on a plea that says that modification in policy for the tabulation of marks for class 10 board exams based on internal assessment conducted by the school is in violation of Article 21  and 21A of the Constitution of India and other Acts. The court asked for the opinion of CBSE, Centre and Delhi Government.

The petition has been filed by Justice For All, an organization of lawyers and social activists ‘dedicated to the cause of the common man and particularly to the rights of the children relating to education and health.’

The petition before the bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh highlighted the failure of the CBSE to ensure the protection of the fundamental right of students appearing in the class 10 board examination, under provisions of Articles 19(1)(a), 21 and 21A of constitution of India, thereby seeking modifications in the policy for tabulation of marks for class X board exams, based on internal assessment conducted by the school dated 01.05.2021, also Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) dated 24.05.2021 have been published by the Board for the clarification of the impugned policy.

It is submitted by the Petitioner  that because of Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020, and the nationwide lockdown imposed since 22.03.2020, the students couldn’t attend the schools physically, whereas managed to learn alternately through the online classes conducted by the schools.

In many schools, the online classes were not been managed efficiently, also the students, parents and teachers continue to be under stress of teaching and learning through a new unfamiliar mode of teaching-learning. The second wave of the COVID-19, the cases in various states have been multiplied and many have lost their lives, whereas the students appearing in the class 10th and 12thboard in 2021, remained under stress of appearing in the board exams. As the lives of students and their families could not be put to risk, thereby the CBSE Board decided to cancel the offline exams of class 10th and devised a mechanism of tabulation of marks of the students of class 10th by the schools based on the internal assessment examinations , alleged the Petitioner.

It is pertinent to note that at present a large group of parents throughout nation have been fighting against the commercialization of education by the private schools, by opposing the unreasonably high fees charged from parents in the name of quality education. The Board exams in class X and XII stuck down the domination, monopoly, highhandedness, imperiousness, favouritism, nepotism by the private school management, whereas unfortunately, because of surge of Covid-19 cases, the physical/offline examinations for class X Board has been cancelled, which has been a big psychological as well as physical relief for the large no. of students in the stressful time of pandemic , the petition said.

The petitioner further submitted that, the parents have the apprehension that the policy devised by the board for the evaluation of students of class Xth based on unbiased and realistic academic record, would be misused by the school managements against the wards of the parents who have been fighting against the commercialization of education.

Also read: PM Modi says no CBSE Class 12 exams this year in view of Covid pandemic

“The policy of moderation of marks devised by the board is absolutely constitutional, in contrast to the fundamental right guaranteed to the students under Article 21A of the Constitution of India, as the performance of a student of the present batch, is being judged and the policy of moderation of marks devised by the board is absolutely constitutional, in contrast to the fundamental right guaranteed to the students under Article 21A of the Constitution of India, as the performance of a student of the present batch, is being judged and calculated by the performance of the previous batch of students, the performance of teachers of the school, also with the performance of the state or district. That the average calculated of the performance in board exams of previous year’s batches cannot in any manner be the reference to judge students of the current academic year.  by the performance of the previous batch of students, the performance of teachers of the school, also with the performance of the state or district. That the average calculated of the performance in board exams of previous year’s batches cannot in any manner be the reference to judge students of the current academic year,” the petition reads.

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