Says students passing eighth standard automatically entitled to join next class in the same school

The Madras High Court has ruled that High or Higher secondary schools cannot claim that students completing eighth standard do not have the right to continue their studies in the same school. It also rejected the contention that entry into to ninth standard would only be considered as fresh admission based on the performance of the student in the previous standard.

Justice R.S. Ramanathan passed the ruling while allowing a writ petition filed in the Madurai Bench of the High Court by a litigant whose son studied in eighth standard during 2007-08 in a private school at Teppakulam here.

For low marks

The petitioner claimed that the school refused to promote his son to ninth standard on the ground that he had secured low marks in Mathematics and Science. Petitioner's counsel C. Arul Vadivel pointed out that Section 30 (1) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, 2009 stated that no child should be required to pass any board examination till the completion of elementary education. It meant that schools could not declare a student as having failed in eighth standard and detain him/her in the same class.

On the other hand, counsel for the private school said that that it was ready to issue a certificate stating that the petitioner's son had passed eighth standard. However, he contended that his client could not be compelled to allow the student to join ninth standard in the same school because it required fresh admission on the basis of the academic background of the candidates.

Rejecting the contention, Mr. Justice Ramanathan said: “The second respondent school is having classes up to Plus Two and therefore, it cannot be stated that every student must get fresh admission for ninth standard. It is common knowledge that in a High School or a Higher Secondary School, a student who passed the eighth standard is automatically entitled to go to ninth standard.”

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