Students of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools who had eagerly assembled in the Anna Stadium on Wednesday to take part in the zonal-level sports competition for girls coordinated by the Regional Inspector of Physical Education returned disappointed after they were denied permission to take part.

The late information they received about the latest government order denying opportunity to the CBSE schools for the third successive year came in a rude jolt. Due to an apparent gap in communication, the time and energy the students had spent in preparing themselves for the event went waste, much to the consternation of their respective schools.

In 2008 and 2009, the CBSE schools were not permitted by the State Government to take part in the competition. This time around, a Madras High Court order last month directing the State Government not to deny permission to CBSE students till it constituted a committee to arrive at a final decision on the issue provided hope to the Central Board schools. The CBSE schools had, in the wake of the high court order, fulfilled norms like payment of subscription for being listed in the fixtures.

However, they (the CBSE schools) learnt to their dismay only on Tuesday that based on the decision of the committee that had been reportedly constituted without any representation from the CBSE schools, the State Government had issued an order earlier this month debarring CBSE schools from the event. The recent government order clearly states that the competition meant exclusively for students of schools in the jurisdiction of the State Government, the Chief Educational Officer T.Mohanakumar said.

Having been denied opportunity to compete, heads of CBSE schools, in their keenness to secure opportunity for taking part at least in the boys' event slated for the first part of next month, intend to move the High Court again. “Had we received a categorical communication about the State Government's stand on the issue , we would not have spent time preparing the students,” said Bro.Mariannan, Principal, Montfort School, Kattur. Legal recourse was the only option now, he said.

Peeved by the constitution of the committee without objective representation, the CBSE schools wish to make sure that the opportunity for their students was not being denied deliberately.

In the absence of a definite forum to bring to fore the sporting talent of their students, the CBSE schools view the competitions conducted by the State machinery as an apt barometer to determine the level of competitiveness of their students.

Keywords: CBSEsports