New Delhi (India), March 16, 2023: In a decision that could be viewed as a setback to private school management associations, the Karnataka High Court granted permission on Wednesday for the state government to conduct board exams for students in Classes 5 and 8 studying the state board syllabus.
The court has also directed the government to provide confidential information to students who fail the exams and offer the necessary training and remedial classes to improve their learning skills without detaining them. Furthermore, the court directed that the examination questions should only be based on the syllabus and not stray beyond it.
Earlier, private school management associations had filed a petition in the High Court seeking to quash the government order that mandated board exams for Classes 5 and 8, claiming that it would cause pressure and tension among students. They also argued that the government order was passed without mentioning it in the prospectus for the academic year.
On March 10, Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur, sitting as a single judge, upheld the petition and struck down the government circular mandating board exams for Classes 5 and 8. However, the government filed an appeal, referring the case to a divisional bench.
Vishal R, the commissioner of the department of public instruction, stated that the board examination for both classes would be scheduled from March 27 on, adding that the purpose of the exam is to evaluate the students’ learning level, not to retain them.
Meanwhile, Lokesh Talikatte, president of the Registered Unaided Schools Management Association of Karnataka, one of the petitioners in the case, expressed his disagreement with the High Court’s judgment, claiming that the move would create confusion and problems among many private management schools.
According to education officials, the government’s decision to conduct annual exams for Classes 5 and 8 aims to measure the progress and performance of students at the elementary level of education for the entire year while also instilling a sense of seriousness and recovering the learning loss caused by the pandemic.