The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday permitted the government to hold board exams for children in Classes 5 and 8 who are following the state board syllabus, which is a blow for private school management groups.
The court further ordered the government to give failing students the training and remedial sessions they require without holding them, as well as to tell them in confidence. The court further ordered that only questions from the syllabus should be included in the exam.
The government decree requiring board exams for children in Class 5 and 8 was earlier challenged in court by private school management organisations, who claimed that the requirement would put pressure on and agitate kids. The government directive, according to the petitioners, was passed without being mentioned in the academic year's prospectus.
On March 10, Judge Pradeep Singh Yerur presided over a single judge panel that upheld the case and overturned the government directive mandating board exams for students in Classes 5 and 8. Later, the government submitted an appeal, referring a divisional bench to hear the case.
The board exams for both classes will begin on March 27, according to Vishal R, commissioner of the department of public instruction. "The purpose of the exam, which is obviously not to keep the pupils, is to evaluate their level of learning. Only questions from the textbooks will be used in the exam. Beginning tomorrow (Thursday), we will begin informing students widely about the board examination, added Vishal.
As one of the petitioners in the case, Lokesh Talikatte, president of the Registered Unaided Schools Management Association of Karnataka, put it, "The High Court's verdict in this matter is imprudent. Parents and students will feel apprehensive as a result. Many private management schools are confused and having issues as a result of the change. Around 40% of students do not have access to government-funded textbooks, and the announcement was not made during the school year 2022–2023.
Also, government schools have a significant teacher shortage and private schools lack the resources they need to adequately prepare their students for these tests. Since the fundamental resources are lacking, what use does it serve to perform the examination? Talikatte further stated that they would appeal the Karnataka High Court's ruling to the Supreme Court.
The Karnataka State Evaluation and Assessment Board (KSEAB) will be conducting annual examinations for students in Classes 5 and 8 who are affiliated with the state board beginning with the current academic year, the department of public instruction said in December.
Education officials claim that the government's action is an attempt to track the development and performance of primary school kids over the course of an entire year. Additionally, it aims to increase students' earnestness and make up for the learning loss brought on by the pandemic. For Grades 5 and 8, the students have up to now been evaluated using the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation model; however, beginning with the following academic year, they will be evaluated throughout the entire year.