The Bombay High Court on Thursday came down heavily on the Maharashtra government over the cancellation of the Class 10 exam, saying it was making a mockery of the education system. A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and SP Tavade sought a reply as to why the decision to cancel the state board exam should not be set aside.
The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Dhananjay Kulkarni, challenging the government’s decision in April to cancel the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam of Class 10 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Government pleader P B Kakade said the government is yet to devise a formula to evaluate students (in the absence of the exam), and a decision will be taken in two weeks.
“You are making a mockery of the education system,” Justice Kathwalla said.
“Are you thinking of promoting the students without exams? If yes, then God save the education system of this state. This is the last year of schooling. Tenth standard is an important year and hence the exam is also important,” the court said
The government can not spoil students’ career and future in the name of pandemic, it said.
“This is not acceptable at all. You are destroying the system,” Justice Kathawalla said.
The high court noted that COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra were decreasing, and also asked why the government decided to cancel the Class 10 exam but not that for Class 12.
“Why this discrimination? It seems things are being done at the whims and fancies of so-called policy makers,” the court said.
“Students, who are the future of our country and state, cannot be promoted year after year without giving exams. We are only concerned about this,” the HC said.
In online, multiple choice exams, students who score 40 per cent also manage to get 90 per cent and hence it was not the right way to assess them, the court said.
The bench directed the state government to file an affidavit explaining why the court should not set aside the decision to cancel the SSC exam, and posted the matter for further hearing next week.