Observing that the High Court is concerned with the future of such of those children who are undertaking education under the Open School Examination Programme, the Patna High Court on Monday (21st September) asked the State Government to take a decision regarding the process of conducting the examination (10th and 12th) for the student enrolled with Bihar Board of Open Schooling and Examination (BBOSE).
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar was of the view that there has to be a categorical decision as to how much time it would take in concluding the process of conducting the examination and by what date the results would be declared.
"It cannot be left open with uncertainty, after all, students also have to plan the career", the Bench further observed.
Further, the Court directed the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar, to immediately convene a meeting of all the stakeholders, including respondent No.2 (Bihar Board of Open Schooling and Examination) and after examining the matter, file his personal affidavit of the decision taken and steps taken, including the concerns highlighted by the writ petitioner in the present petition.
The Prayers of the Petition
The Petition by way of Public Interest Litigation was filed on behalf of Grassroot Empowerment & Development by Youth (An N.G.O.) (Represented through its Co-Founder and Assistant Executive Program Director, Ms. Nalini Mishra) through Advocate Mayuri seeking direction(s) for the respondents' authorities:-
* To come up with a policy regarding the promotion of the Class Xth and XIIth students in line with the other boards like CBSE, ICSE and NIOS which have already promoted their students on the basis of the internal assessment.
* To take immediate action/decision for the welfare of the students enrolled in class Xth XIIth as the admission and enrolment in Universities have been initiated.
* Promote the class Xth and XIIth students enrolled with the Bihar Board of Open Schooling and Examination on the basis of the Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA)
* To order the Respondent Authorities to immediately announce the cancellation of the examination for the students enrolled in Class Xth and XIIth in the BBOSE.
Averments of the Petition
It has been contended in the petition that because of the inaction of the Respondent authorities (BBOSE), it would lead to a loss of a year of thousands of students across the state of Bihar as they would have to wait for another year if the Respondent No. 2 does not take a quick action (promote students/conduct examination/assessment) like all the other boards of the Country.
Further, it states that in the present scenario, the physical examination cannot be conducted and if conducted, it would amount to a threat to life, and well-being of the students and the same is, therefore, simply not feasible at this point of time. Hence, the Respondent no. 2 will have to devise a method to promote the students without conducting the physical examination.
The Petition also argues that the students who are enrolled in the Respondent No. 2 board are mostly those students who could not continue their education in the regular boards for some or the other reasons.
In fact, the petition says, there are several students who are working in different places but since the Respondent No. 2 provided an opportunity for their further education in distance mode, they have enrolled themselves with Respondent No.2.
But at the same time, there are several students enrolled with Respondent No. 2 who would want to switch to the regular course (students who are enrolled for Class Xth) and to institutions for further education (students enrolled in Class XIIth).
The Petition informs the court that in the instant case, Respondent No. 2 already has a system of Tutor Marked Assignment, wherein the students are given assignments which are to be filled and submitted to the board.
Further, the teachers have to accordingly grade the students on the basis of their performance in the TMA. This categorically states that Respondent No. 2 also has a system in existence which can be used for the promotion of these students on the basis of their internal assessment like all other boards.
The Petition also contends that there are other similarly situated boards like the Respondent No. 2 who have already taken a decision in this regard.
The Petitioner has also submitted before the Court that they have sent a representation dated 17.08.2020 to the Additional Chief- Secretary, Department of Education, Government of Bihar apprising him about the situation of the BBOSE students and requesting him to promote these students in the same way as has been done by NIOS by way of their internal assessment.
In the end, the Petition prays that Respondent No. 2 should also take an immediate action and cancel the examinations which were to be held in June-July, 2020 and declare the results of the students on the basis of the internal examination.
The board may thereafter, suggests the Petitioner, when the situation gets normal conduct an improvement examination, for those students who intend to sit in the examination and improve their results.
Case Title: Grassroot Empowerment and Development by Youth v. The State of Bihar
Case No.: Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.7628 of 2020
Quorum: Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar
Appearance: Advocate Mayuri, Advocate Vikash Shukla (For the Petitioner);: A.G. Lalit Kishore, AAG-15 Ashutosh Ranjan Pandey, (For the Respondents)
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Click Here To Download Order