The National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), the largest alliance of 65,400 private schools across the country has demanded the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) board promote all class X students to class XI while allowing them the choice of their subjects. Challenging the CBSE’s 2021 class X board exams marks tabulation system, NISA approached the Delhi High Court asking for its intervention in the matter to ensure justice for CBSE students across the country.
While challenging circular, it was alleged that during pandemic when most of the areas is under lock down, directing schools to constitute Result Committee would be highly risky for teachers visiting the schools. Bharat Malik, founder member, NISA, quotes”CBSE was certain to organize physical evaluation, however due to this writ petition, they have given official statements before Hon’ble High Court that physical presence is not required and online process can be adopted. Hence, it’s clear that CBSE does not have any clear evaluation plan. This has created lot of confusion and built anxiety among children, parents and educators and the PIL filed by advocate Mamata Sharma at Supreme Court which is on hearing tomorrow includes parents participation in huge numbers for cancellation of exams, we believe that vaccinating teacher and students are important for conducting offline exams. ”
Rajeev Garg, principal of Datta Meghe World Academy, Navi Mumbai says “In regards to class X results, I saw school teachers and principals in a state of confusion. On one side the sword of disaffiliation is hanging on the other side the teachers who mentored these children during this challenging period and remained the source of inspiration to all these students are feeling unsafe due to large spread of corona virus and are reluctant to perform the assigned duties. Many teachers are not vaccinated. And even some of those who are vaccinated died due to Covid or facing challenging situation after recovery. Such news also create a fear factor in the teaching community while called for this tabulation work. They become more concerned about the source of income for the family and dependents, if God, forbid something happens to them.”
On the other side FAQs also did not give any clarity. Principals are wondering how to fit the students in different slabs as mentioned in historical data when parents are already having the scores with them. Also they are not feeling it justified to reduce the marks irrationally on the basis of reference year calculated on best of last three years performances. The individuality of the child should be respected. The mental health of child has already affected due to uncertainty. The large population of young learners is already feeling discouraged and demotivated. Their energy levels are low due to sufferings and setbacks. The scores should be generated in a judicious way so that the child’s interest and motivation towards further education should remain intact.
The matter was listed on 13th May 2021, before Justice Prateek Jalan when it was pleased to ask the Counsel for petitioner Ravi Prakash Gupta to file additional affidavit giving better particulars about teachers going to be affected. In the additional affidavit dated 22nd May2021, sworn by Kul Bhushan Sharma, National President, it was submitted that there are about total 21491 schools affiliated to CBSE for the purpose of 10th Board Examination and if Result Committee of eight teachers including principal is to be formed by each school then the minimum teaching staff which will visit schools is 21491 x 8 = 1,71,928 faculty members. Apart from this, minimum 10 supporting staff shall be required by each school like computer operators, clerks, class teachers, peons etc. which comes to 21491 x 10 = 214910 staff making a total of 1,71,928 + 214910 = 3,86,838 staff which will undertake this exercise during Covid-19. These teachers may become carrier of corona virus infecting their family members and others.
It was further stated that in most of the areas all over country there is complete lock down and all schools & colleges are too directed to be closed down. There is no public transport available in these areas. Most of them do not have their own private vehicles and are dependent upon public transport. Neither metros nor public buses are plying. Even there is no rickshaw or auto rickshaw or tempos available in the cities. In rural areas the situation of public transport is worst and there is no way for teachers specially lady teachers to reach the school premises. Thus, even if the school manages to get them passes for travel during curfew, they are unable to reach school premises because of
lack of public transport.
The petitioner namely NISA organization representing managements stated that the managements of schools are left in big dilemma, as on the one hand, if any management of a school does not constitute Result Committee then such management, as per this circular, could face disciplinary action of de-affiliation apart from the students of those schools shall suffer irreparable loss due to withholding of their results. On the other hand, if teachers & other staff (specially, those living in containments zones) refuse to come out of their houses, or their family members refused to allow them to do so as there is high risk of infecting them too, the management would be left with no option except to threaten them with disciplinary action against them which could hardly be legally sustained in courts of law. On the other hand, the courts may also take serious view of forcing teachers to attend the schools during pandemic risking not only their lives but also their family members infringing various directions issued under Disaster management Act, 2005.
In the said affidavit, attention was drawn to various news papers reports that about 1621 teachers died in U.P. while deployed in U. P. Panchayat elections while about 50 teachers died in Delhi, about 130 teachers in Telangana and about 268 teachers in Karnataka have died due to getting infected by deadly SARS CoC-2.
It was contended that this circular was issued by Controller of Examinations, CBSE without any prior consultation or permission of Disaster Management Authority or any of its constituent committee including latest advisory dated 25.05.2021 of Union Health Ministry sent to all states & UTs for declaring containment zones upto 31.05.2021 as per the areas infected. It was sanctified further by the National Disaster Authority, in exercise of power u/s 6(2)(i) of Disaster Management Act, 2005 vide order dated 01.05.2021.
The writ petition along with said additional affidavit came for hearing before Mr. Justice Prateek Jalan on 25.05.2021 when Counsel Mr. Ravi Prakash Gupta brought these facts to the notice of High Court and argued that better 20% marks sent earlier could be declared as 100% as was done last year. It was argued that in case of 12th Board examinations wider discussion has taken place with all Chief Minsters and other Union Minsters but in the present case of 10th Board Examinations apparently no such discussion was made. The CBSE Rupesh Kumar refuted these allegations and stated that there is no need for members to visit the school premises as the same is to be loaded on line. He alleged that there is no locus of petitioner’s federation to file this writ petition. The Counsel for the petitioner refuted by stating that entire records are with the schools where tabulation of marks is to be made.
On hearing contentions of both sides, the Hon’ble Court of Justice Prateek Jalan directed Counsel for CBSE to explain by short note to be filed by CBSE by 28th May stating as to how this circular shall be implemented as stated by Counsel for the CBSE. The matter is posted for hearing on 3rd June 2021.National, News