THE PUNJAB and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in response to a plea moved by 18 “brilliant” students, seeking re-evaluation of their answer sheets of Class XII English paper held in March. The Board has been asked to reply by June 4.
CBSE has scrapped the policy of re-evaluation this year and introduced a system of re-verification or recounting of marks. The petition was filed by advocate Baltej Singh Sidhu on behalf of the students of Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, Chandigarh, a majority of whom are from the commerce stream. The respondents are the chairman of the CBSE main office in Delhi and director of the regional office in Sector 5, Panchkula.
According to the petition, the students have a brilliant academic record in Class X and have scored above 90 marks. But they were shocked to see their English scores in the Class XII board exam. In other subjects, these students have scored above 90. The poor result in English has affected the aggregate of the students, most of whom have applied to Delhi University. The plea argues that if re-evaluation is not done, the students will not be able to get admission to premier institutions.
The application deadline for DU is June 7, following which the cut-off lists will be displayed on June 19. The petitioners pray that the respondents “may be directed to do the needful, keeping in view the abovesaid dates”.
The plea has also given a detailed description of the response by the CBSE’s regional office when parents and students went to the director to raise the issue. It stated, “Respondent did not pay heed to the petitioners and officers flatly refused to help the petitioners in any manner on the pretext that it is not in their hands, whatever will be done, will be done by the Delhi office.”
The plea further argued that the petitioners were left with no choice but to “raise a hue and cry” on the regional office premises on May 28. When the protest yielded no response yet again, they were forced to file the writ petition.
“All we want is re-evaluation as neither has my daughter scored below 90 in the subject nor have the other students scored poor marks in the past. We’re glad that the court has acted in this regard; it’s not only Bhavan Vidyalaya, other students too are facing a similar issue,” said Dr Naveen Gupta, the father of one of the students, adding that she has scored above 95 in four subjects barring English in which she has got 75 due to which her aggregate came down to 92 per cent.
Bhavan Vidyalaya Principal Vineeta Arora refused to comment on the issue. However, on May 26, she told Chandigarh Newsline that the overall results of the school had been affected by the English marks. She added that some students, who topped in English throughout the year, got marks in the 50s and 60s. This year, Bhavan Chandigarh did not feature on the toppers’ table in the Class XII results. Last year, two students of the school were all-India toppers.
Teachers said English results at government schools were also poor. “Students tend to take English for granted. So they expect to score high without putting in much effort. Even government schools have not performed well in the subject,” said Sangeeta Chhabra, who was the subject counsellor. She added that since many students in government schools were from remote and backward areas, their foundation in the language was weak.