Sahitya Soothwal, a class IX student of St Michael's Senior Secondary School, at Pusa Road can now heave a sigh of relief. The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Director of Education (DoE), CBSE and the school on a petition filed by Soothwal, challenging the failure of the school to implement the scheme of examination reforms and Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) formulated by the Government of India, reports Mid Day.
Soothwal was allegedly detained in class IX, though he was entitled to be promoted to class X in the academic year 2009-2010.
Ashok Agarwal, Soothwal's lawyer, submitted that the petitioner had secured C grade in three subjects, D in one subject and E in another subject with a total of 23 grade points and therefore, in terms of the promotion policy envisaged in the CCE scheme, the petitioner was entitled to be promoted to class X.
Ramesh Kumar, the petitioner's father, said, "Initially the school implemented CCE and allowed my child to sit in class X. However 12 days later, on April 14, the school asked my son to go back to class IX as he had 'failed'. Such an action on the part of the school is totally illegal, arbitrary, discriminatory and unconstitutional."
"I ran from pillar to post after that but nobody responded. The officials kept asking me to meet different people in this regard. Finally, failing after all the attempts, I moved court. After the court's judgment, I hope that the officials will take my case seriously," Kumar added.
The notice circulated to the principals of all the schools affiliated to CBSE in September last year said that students' performance will be assessed using conventional numerical marking mode, and the same will be later converted into grades on the basis of the pre-determined marks. CCE has been introduced by the CBSE in all the schools all over the country that are affiliated to it.
However, the school authorities denied receiving any such letter from CBSE. St Michael's Senior Secondary School Principal, Fr Vincent D'Souza, said, "The school only acted because it didn't receive any circulars from the CBSE."
The CBSE claims, CCE minimises misclassification of students on the basis of marks, eliminates unhealthy cut-throat competition among high achievers, reduces societal pressure and provides the learner with more flexibility and leads to a focus on a better learning environment
The petitioner also challenged the validity of the resolution of the CBSE to withdraw its decision dated 29th of September, 2009 to provide five attempts to those candidates who have obtained Grade E1 or E2 in a subject, to improve their performance.
"In terms of the CBSE decision, the petitioner was allowed to take one attempt. When he was about to take his second, he was informed about the changed stance of the CBSE and was thus not allowed another attempt," submitted Agarwal. The case will now come up for hearing on July 16, 2010.