30 Nov 2022 10:09 AM GMT
Observing that career guidance of students in Class XI and XII is crucial, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to consider having a system for career counselling of the students to ensure that an informed decision is taken by them regarding their subject choices.Justice Sanjeev Narula in a ruling observed that it is essential that students are counselled in the...
Observing that career guidance of students in Class XI and XII is crucial, the Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to consider having a system for career counselling of the students to ensure that an informed decision is taken by them regarding their subject choices.
Justice Sanjeev Narula in a ruling observed that it is essential that students are counselled in the decision-making process, and asked the authorities to step-in to ensure that there is an appropriate system of counselling or career guidance programmes in schools to assist students.
"If students are made aware of admission policies of different universities, it could only help them in making an informed decision regarding their subject choices. Mr. Unmukt Gera, counsel for GNCTD, states that such systems must be in place, although he is unable to readily cite the same. Accordingly, the present petition is disposed of with a direction to GNCTD/ DoE to examine this issue in consultation with experts in the field and in case, any lacunae is required to be filled-in, they may do so by issuing appropriate directions to schools," the court said.
The court made the observations in its judgement on a plea filed by a father whose son failed to secure admission in colleges affiliated with Delhi University in 2020. The petitioner blamed the lack of career guidance at school for it. His argument was that when his son opted for Mass Media Studies and Physical Education in Class XI and XII, he was not cautioned that these subjects are not considered as "Main" subjects by DU and are instead treated as "Elective" attracting penalty of 2.5% deduction of marks from aggregate marks for the purpose of selection in colleges of DU.
The petition prayed for intervention of statutory authorities like Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Delhi government to ensure proper dispensation of information and guidance to students at the time of subject selection in Class XI and XII. It also sought action against the school and compensation for the alleged prejudice caused to the students.
The court said the prayer seeking cancellation of the accreditation of the school, lacks foundation and is untenable. "Improper career counselling to some students cannot be a ground for de-affiliation/ de-accreditation, in absence of any statutory provision that provides for such a penalty," it added.
Rejecting the prayer seeking compensation considering that highly disputed facts have emerged from the pleadings, the court said the school has asserted that guidelines issued by CBSE are diligently followed and students in Class XI are free to opt any subjects prescribed by CBSE.
"They explain that Petitioner opted for the subjects voluntarily and in consultation with his parents. All of the subjects taught/ available in the School, are recognised by CBSE and here is no basis for the School to consider some subjects more favourable than others. The School does not dissuade students from opting any subject. In light of the above, there is no basis for the Court to hold that the choice exercised by Petitioner was not voluntarily or was exercised under persuasion," Justice Narula said.
The court further said there is also no reason for it to hold that the school should have disapproved or opposed the option because of its likely impact on admission prospects to DU. "Petitioner's contention is farfetched and exhibits a very orthodox approach towards education centred around scoring marks. The School, on the other hand, would have a different approach of holistic development of students and would encourage them to select subjects based on their aptitude. Scoring of marks cannot therefore, be the sole criteria for selecting a subject," it said.
Observing that prayer seeking consideration of the petitioner's admission has become infructuous, the court said Common University Entrance Test has now been introduced for the admissions. The court also noted that the student has been able to secure admission in some other college and he is continuing his education there.
"Moreover, the Court has no reason to direct DU to dilute its standards for admission, as fixing the eligibility criteria is a policy- decision and lies within the exclusive domain of the University. No foundation or legal right has been demonstrated before this Court to issue any directions to DU qua admission procedure followed by them for intake of students under the erstwhile admission regime," it said.
However, while disposing of the direction, the court issued a direction to the government with regard to career counselling of Class XI and Class XII students.
Title: SHISHRAM AS GUARDIAN OF MR. KAWAL vs BAL BHAVAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL & ORS.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 1133
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment