After the All India Students Association has moved a letter petition on behalf of over 800 students earlier this month, a writ petition has been filed seeking suo moto congnizance of Supreme Court against the direction of CBSE to conduct the compartment examination amidst COVID-19 crisis.
The petition highlights that as per the CBSE Class X and XII results declared last month, around 150198 Class X students and around 87651 Class XII students were placed in the category of compartment full subject. When approached the Supreme Court, the students were asked to make representation before CBSE and upon doing so, CBSE, on August 6, 2020, without taking account of the present health crisis, provided for conduct of compartment exams.
Terming the said decision of CBSE to be in sheer violation of right to health which is part of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the petition submits:
- the conduct of compartment examination will expose the examinees to a great risk. The conduct of offline exam will entail students to travel from one place to another which will further involve the risk of shared accommodation, use of public transport, etc. The petition states that the conduct of examination will also increase the risk of the parents, teachers, staff members, etc being exposed to the virus.
- the conduct of online exam will be against the interest of students who do not have proper access to internet/laptops/personal computers.
- the decision of the CBSE is itself flawed as it is against the MHA Unlock III guideline dated 29.07.2020, which provides that the schools, colleges and educational institutions will remain closed.
- many states including Bihar, Telangana and Manipur have cancelled their state board examination, in view of COVID 19. It is considering the exponential growth in the number of COVID-19 cases.
- Ramesh Pokhriyal, Minister of Higher Education has stated that yet there is no date fixed for reopening schools and the safety of the students is a primary concern.
“When there is no deadline for opening of schools, how can the students be then expected to appear for compartment examination in the current situation.”
- On 12.08.2020, C.B.S.E. issued a circular providing for the filing of the examination form for compartment examination by 20.08.2020 extended upto 22.08.2020 (with late fees) and that the compartment examination are proposed to be conducted in September. However, it did not specify any particular date, schedule or mode of conduction of the said examination.
- many colleges are about to close admissions and some have already announced their admission closure date, which is adversely affecting the career of lacs of students, who will be deprived entrance into Universities/Colleges/Institutions, where they are eligible to apply for admission.
“… if an alternative mechanism is not derived, many students will lose an academic year.”
The Students have, hence, prayed that the universities/colleges/educational institutions, in which a student is eligible to apply, are directed to extend deadline for admission for academic year 2020-2021, until the result of the compartment examination is announced.
The students also sought for direction to direct the C.B.S.E. to provide for alternative mode of assessment for the students placed in the category compartment and to provide a specific date (at the earliest) for the completion of the assessment of compartment students so that their right to apply to various universities/colleges/educational institutions, who have already announced the admission closing date, is not affected.