All India Students Association has sent a letter petition to the Supreme Court aggrieved by the "draconian decision" of CBSE to conduct compartment examination, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The letter petition, moved on behalf of 809 students from across the country, urges the Court to take suo moto cognizance of the issue and put the decision to conduct compartment examination in abeyance, until the pandemic subsides.
Compartment exams are conducted for students of Class X and XII who are unable to clear one or two subjects in board exams.
The Students' Association expresses concerns over conducting of offline examinations amid the pandemic, as it shall expose students/ parents/ teachers and staff to a lot of risk in view of exponential growth of the virus in the country.
The decision is also asserted to be contrary to the Unlock III guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which provides that the schools, colleges and educational institutions will remain closed until August 31, 2020.
Reference is also made to a statement issued by the Union Minister of Higher Education, stating that no decision has been taken yet on the reopening of the schools in the country and any decision thereon shall be taken without considering safety of the students.
"In view of unprecedented health emergency and rising numbers of the COVID-19 cases in the country, the conduct of compartment examination will expose the examinees to a great risk and will undeniably sacrifice basic principle of integrity by neglecting equal basis and treatment to all examinees," the letter states.
Inter alia, the letter petition points out practical difficulties in concluding the compartment examination as many colleges have already announced the admission closure dates, whereas schedule for compartment examinations has not been released.
Further, online classes for many students who have been promoted from Class X to Class XI, have already started, which is adversely affecting the students who are stranded with no certainty regarding completion of their examination.
Significantly, 150198 students from class X and 87651 students from class XII were placed within the compartment category. This decision came to be challenged before the Top Court in the case of Anika Samvedi & Ors. v. Union of India & Anr. The Top Court had therein, vide order dated July 31, 2020, directed the Petitioners to make a representation in this behalf before the CBSE.
The letter petition points out that despite making a representation before the authorities, they have upheld the decision to conduct compartment examination, "without taking into account the present health crisis".
The letter clarifies that the students do not contend the importance of the compartment exams but they seek an appropriate direction in this regard, only because of the pandemic situation. They have urged the Top Court to take steps for alternative evaluation scheme, to do complete justice.
They have also, in the interregnum, sought for grant of provisional passing certificates, so that students of Class XII are not deprived of admissions into colleges.
Click Here To Download Letter