Don’t review evaluation policy for Class 12, CBSE urges Supreme Court
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has urged the Supreme Court not to review its evaluation policy for Class XII Board exams, as it opposed a clutch of petitions filed by students who are aggrieved by their scores on account of the poor past performance of their schools.
Submitting its affidavit on Monday, CBSE said the option of taking the improvement exams was available to the students and couldn’t claim violation of their rights when the marking was done as per the evaluation policy, which was also approved by the top court in June.
The Board’s affidavit has been filed in response to petitions filed by over two dozen students from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan.
The petitions, filed through advocate Ravi Prakash, have demanded that a school’s poor past performance should not be counted while awarding final scores under the evaluation policy notified on June 17 and approved by the apex court on June 22.
“Accepting the request of the petitioners would not only mean deviating from the evaluation policy which has been accepted well across the country but, would also result in revising the results of all the students which is already settled and based on which almost all universities have almost completed their admission process,” the CBSE affidavit read.
The Board stated that between August 25 and September 15, it conducted Class XII examinations for students who were not satisfied with the assessment done based on the policy. “As the petitioners fall under such category of students, they had the option available with them to appear in the improvement examinations. Therefore, they are not entitled to claim reliefs, as prayed for, in the writ petition,” the affidavit added. As per the policy, the marks scored in the later examination were to be considered final.
The CBSE’s affidavit, filed by advocate Rupesh Kumar, will be taken up by a bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and CT Ravikumar on Wednesday.
Class XII exams were cancelled this year due to Covid-19 and the evaluation policy was formulated that assessed students based on their performance in classes X, XI and XII on a ratio of 30:30:40, respectively. The total marks awarded had to be in consonance with the past performance of the school in Class XII Board examinations. Further, the policy also talked about moderating the final marks based on the historical performance of the school by taking the best overall performance in the previous three years’ Board examination.
The petitioners produced a chart to the court, comparing their scores calculated on basis of the 30:30:40 method and the final scores awarded by CBSE. One of the petitioners who scored 91.27% ended up getting 66% when the results were moderated based on the school’s past performance, showing a variance of over 25%. Similarly, another petitioner who scored 85.4% ended up getting 54% showing a variance of over 31% after the school’s performance was factored in.
On August 8, the CBSE notified a dispute redressal mechanism, as per the court’s directions, under which the petitioner students complained against the CBSE policy to their respective schools. The grievance was forwarded to the Board that dismissed the representation as it found the marks to be in conformity with the evaluation policy. The petitions filed through advocate Ravi Prakash urged the CBSE to pass a reasoned order and consider amending the policy in view of the future of the petitioners.
Even the schools where the petitioners studied supported their cause and told the CBSE that the previous batch of students was poor in academics and this should not come in the way of the present batch, which had performed better.
The CBSE said, “The evaluation policy provides for taking into consideration the historical performance of the school, subject-wise mean, overall school average and moderation criteria for which a special software was developed by the Board…the answering respondent (CBSE) was bound to take into consideration not only the actual performance of the students but also the past performance of their school.”
The Board also stated that the chart presented by the petitioners was based on a wrong reading of the evaluation policy as it considered the actual performance of students and not the past performance of the school.
Further, the Board submitted that the issue with regard to the ‘historical/past performance of the school’ to be taken as one of the components for the purpose of declaring the result was already considered and approved by the Supreme Court by its June 22 order while considering a petition seeking cancellation of Class XII Board examinations.
The Board further clarified that since the marks awarded to the petitioners was in accordance with the policy, there was no occasion to reconsider their representations by passing a detailed, reasoned order.
The court had issued notice on the petitions on October 8 following which it closed for Dussehra vacation and fixed the matter on the reopening day (Wednesday) and directed the CBSE to submit its response by then.