Determining Marking Schemes A Prerogative of Educationists, Cannot be Decided by the Court: Madras HC
The High Court of Madras in S. Joshika vs The Central Board of Secondary Education – WP. 18726/2021 – held that the court is not the appropriate platform to adjudicate matters relating to marks awarded to the students under the assessment scheme made by the Central Board of Secondary Education for class XII. The court said that this authority lay with educationists and experts.
The bench of Justice Mr. N. Ananda Venkatesh held:
The CBSE has come up with a workable model to tide over the situation and the policy was also authorised by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and hence the student has to accept the moderation of marks without any demur. If the student is not satisfied, it is always left open to the student to write the examination as an when conducted by the CBSE. Beyond this, this court does not want to interfere with each and every result that is determined by the result committee.
The petitioner through the writ challenged the result published by the 4th respondent school – GTA Vidhya Mandir, Chennai and to give necessary direction to the school for calculating the marks as per the rules prescribed by the respondent no.1 (Central Board of Secondary Education).
The petitioner was a student of class XII in the respondent’s school for the academic session 2019-21 integrated batch. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) through a notice dated 1.06.2021 declared about the cancellation of XII board examination in the view of the ongoing pandemic. On 17.06.2021 CBSE through a circular notified to the affiliated schools, method to be adhered by the schools for the calculation of marks and publication of results. The respondent school considering the circular issued by the CBSE calculated and declared the marks of the students of class XII. The petitioner was awarded with 76%.
Aggrieved with the marking scheme and stating that the school has not adhered to the method prescribed by the Board, the father of the petitioner on 12.08.2021 made a representation to the educational officer and the officer passed the application to the respondent school. The respondent school on 13.08.2021 through an email to the petitioner’s father made it clear that the marks which was awarded to the petitioner was as per the rules prescribed by the CBSE. Further aggrieved, the petitioner had filed this writ petition.
The counsel of the respondent through a written submission explained the manner in which the result had been calculated by the committee. The counsel added that the marks awarded were in consonance with the Board’s marking scheme, if the marking scheme do not match then the school cannot publish its marks on the web portal.
The court observed that the education system and students during the academic year 2020-21 faced a huge challenge due to the pandemic. Considering the fact that the pandemic threatened our lives, conducting physical exam is not in favour and therefore the Board had made the rules for assessment and evaluation for declaration of the results of class X and XII. Further, the court stated that same question was placed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Mamtha Sharma v. CBSE & ors , where the court being satisfied with the assessment scheme of CBSE ordered to proceed with the scheme and publish the results and had asked the Board to even make a dispute resolution mechanism.
The court also considered the judgement pronounced by the Supreme Court in Ananda Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2020 SCC Online 823) where it held that education related matters are best solved by the educationist than the courts, keeping in mind the statutes and rules made for it.
We say so in view of the fact that matters of education must be left to educationists, of course subject to being governed by the relevant statutes and regulations. It is not the function of this Court to sit as an expert body over the decision of the experts, especially when the experts are all eminent people as apparent from the names as set out. This aspect has received judicial imprimatur even earlier and it is not that we are saying something new.
In conclusion, the court conforming to the judgement of the Supreme Court, in a similar case, refused to interfere with the marking system and finding no merits dismissed the petition.
Rasmita Behera | Research Intern | EduLegaL
Swapna Iyer | Legal Editor | EduLegaL