Students and principals were relieved on Thursday when the Supreme Court ruled that the Best-Five policy for junior college admissions could continue.
“Finally, the apex court has upheld our government's decision to conduct admissions on the basis of Best Five scheme. The decision comes as relief for lakhs of anxious parents and students,” said state education minister, Rajendra Darda.
He added that the government had been in a fix on the issue of ensuring a level playing field for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) students with their Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) counterparts.
“This is a relief,” said Viraj Domadia, a Class 10 SSC student from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Vidyalaya in Kandivli. “I’m happy that the policy will continue and that we will be able to drop one subject from the average if we do poorly in it.”
The state government had announced the Best-Five scheme for SSC students last year, after which ICSE students went to court on the basis that it discriminated against them.
In line with the Supreme Court’s interim order last year, SSC students will be able to count their best five out of six scores, while ICSE students will be able to count their best five scores not including the vocational-type Group III subject. The 2013 batch that will only appear for exams in six subjects (instead of seven), would have no choice but to count all five subjects. “We had been hoping that they would allow the Group III subject to be counted in the best-five average,” said Perin Bagli, secretary of the Association of ICSE schools in Maharashtra. “We will discuss the verdict at our next meeting and see what all the principals think.” The interim order last August had ruled against allowing it on the grounds that 50% of the assessment was done at the school level.
“It’s very good that the policy will continue,” said Poonam Arora, principal of Bombay Cambridge School in Andheri. “It gives them leverage in case they do badly in one subject.”