Mumbai: The vacation bench of the Bombay High Court of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla Surendra Tawade on Thursday came down heavily on the Maharashtra government for deciding to promote class 10 students. The bench said the state should not make mockery of the entire education system and destroy careers of students in the name of pandemic.
The bench was informed by acting government pleader Priyabhushan Kakade that the state is yet to finalise on the marking scheme for class 10 students and is awaiting suggestions from the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).
The bench then sought to know if the state has decided to promote class 10 students. "We have cancelled the exams and have decided to promote the students," Kakade told the judges.
Irked over the submission, Justice Kathawalla said, "God save the education system in this country, if you are promoting SSC students. These are the main exams of their schooling life." "Aren't you making mockery of our education system (by promoting students)? Don't use pandemic as an excuse especially when you have conducted HSC papers," the judge observed.
The judges further noted that there was a decline in active cases in the state. "In the name of pandemic you can't spoil the career of our children and their future. The policy makers must know this. This stand isn't acceptable," Justice Kathawalla remarked.
The bench then sought to know as to why the state held class 12 exams. "Why this discrimination? Who is taking all these decisions?" the bench questioned to which Kakade responded that it was a policy decision taken on May 12.
"You are just destroying the system. Is there any other state which had decided not to hold SSC exams?" Justice Kathawalla said, to which Kakade again replied that Tamil Nadu has already taken a similar decision.
"You must follow other states or they must follow you? We fail to understand as to why such a decision wasn't taken for HSC students?" the court said. Having been pulled up, Kakade asked for some time from the bench so that a final decision could be taken by the state.
"No, we will consider this as your decision only. You tell us you will reconsider this decision then we will consider granting time," the bench said. During the hearing, the bench pointed out that the decision to assess students based on internals and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) have not been helpful.
"We have seen in law colleges. Students, who usually got 40 marks are now getting 90 and above. Now law firms aren't taking in students, who scored 90 and above. There has to be some checks and balances else everything will go haywire," Justice Kathawalla observed.
For cancelling u need to be ready with the blueprint... What would u do to assess children etc not just that we sit and later use some MCQs to assess.
Meanwhile, ICSE informed the bench that it has decided to assess students based on their performance till class 9 and that the same procedure was adopted last year which was accepted by the Supreme Court.
The bench has granted time to the state to file a fresh affidavit now.