Student Denied Admission Into Science Stream Due to Inadequate Maths Score; Mother Files Petition: Kerala HC

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A student was denied Science Stream by the school authorities by stating that her score in Maths was low even though the stream chosen by her did not include Maths in it. The Kerala High Court has directed CBSE to provide information on the same and has listed the matter for another day.

Facts and background

The petitioner is the mother of two students studying in Choice school, Thrippunithura (1st respondent), affiliated to CBSE (3rd respondent). The petitioner’s first daughter was seeking to join Class XI by opting for science as her first choice; physics, chemistry, biology and psychology being the subjects. However, the 1st respondent denied the petitioner’s daughter the science group, stating that her Maths score for the onsite exam was not enough for securing admission to the science stream.

When the petitioner questioned the said decision, the 1st respondent stated that “it is against the CBSE rules and regulations and also against the new Education policy of the Central Government.” Additionally, the 1st respondent stated that “they act according to their own policy decision.”

Furthermore, the 1st respondent pressurized the petitioner to pay the admission fee, annual fee and tuition fee and book a seat for the petitioner’s daughter in the Humanities group consisting of psychology, sociology, political science, legal science and English. When the petitioner objected to this, the 1st respondent stated that they would arrange a seat in the Science group after the results of Class X are published.

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The Vice-Principal also told her that they have to accommodate students coming from other schools, but there is no mandate from CBSE that new students from other schools have to be accommodated mandatorily in Class XI at the cost of students of the same school. Moreover, the online classes were said to commence from June 4th 2021, though they had stated that Class X results were needed to close admissions to Class XI.

The petitioner filed a writ petition for the issuance of a Writ of Mandamus to the respondent, to allot her daughter the science group which she had opted, to allow her to attend the online classes and direct the respondent to comply with the CBSE rules and regulations regarding allotment of groups to students in Class XI.

Arguments of the Petitioner

The petitioner submitted that the 1st and the  2nd respondent (The Choice School and The Principal respectively), we’re taking an illegal stand denying admission to the petitioner’s daughter to Class XI, knowing that they were acting against the CBSE rules and guidelines.

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It is submitted that placing reliance on Maths score despite the fact that the petitioner’s daughter has not opted for Maths along with the science group is unfair and unreasonable. Further, it has been submitted that accommodating students of other schools is prejudicial to the students of the respondent’s school.

Reliance was placed on the decision of the Apex Court in Saurabh Chaudhary’s case and Payal Gupta’s case, in which it was held that “students of their own school should be given preference than to students of other schools in Class XI admissions.” It was also submitted that the petitioner’s daughter was denied entry to any group after the online class have commenced and that it “violated her fundamental right to education.”

Kerala HC’s Observations

The Court took notice of the submissions made by the petitioner and observed that

there was nothing on record to suggest any fixed criteria to deny admission to a student who scored low marks in Maths for admission into Class XI Science Stream.

High Court’s Decision

The Court held that the matter will be held after obtaining information from the 3rd respondent (CBSE). Hence, CBSE has been directed to provide information regarding admission to Class XI and matters connected with it.

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