The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to list a petition, which seeks an alternative assessment method for the board examination of classes 10 and 12, instead of holding physical exams, as proposed by various State boards, along with the Central Bureau of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).
Chief Justice N.V. Ramana has agreed to list the matter before the Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar.
Advocate-on-Record Prashant Padmanabhan mentioned the petition for urgent listing before the CJI.
The petition, filed through the Child rights activist Anubha Shrivastava Sahai and the Students Union of Odisha, has also prayed for directions to all boards for declaration of results on time and an option for improvement in exam due to various challenges being faced by them.
The petitioners pointed out that for CBSE, the board exams for classes 10 and 12 will be held in the last week of April. For ICSE and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), there is no notification yet, they added.
Regarding the State Boards, the plea mentioned that while some State Boards have declared the timetable, others were still holding discussion on the course of action.
“The students are dissatisfied by this kind of behaviour of the State government and other boards which have stressed and worried them about their future and career,” the plea said.
The plea highlighted the difficulties and pressure faced by students after the interruption in their schooling due to Covid-19.
“The petitioners submitted that, in fact, subjecting the children to write the examination and conducting the examination when the Covid-19 wave is still high, with the number of patients infected and death rate rising day-by-day, when there are unprecedented mortality numbers, when the experts are predicting that third wave of resurgence is likely to mostly affect children and young people, it will be violating their right to life”
While education is important, it is not more important than the lives and mental health of children, teachers, staff and parents of the children who will have to venture out to appear, for the physical exam, the plea added.
The petition further prayed for a direction to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to constitute a committee to declare the date for admission into various Universities and work out a formula for assessment of Class XII students, who want to pursue their further studies in non-professional courses.