Be kind to children, says High Court

“The education authorities need to show more sympathy and understanding while dealing with students, particularly during this pandemic period,” observed the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

The remark came while issuing a direction to the State to declare a Class X student as ‘pass’. He was denied the relief on the ground that he did not have adequate attendance.

The court was hearing a petition filed by D. Suresh Kumar of Theni district. He challenged the communication issued by the Directorate of Government Examinations that informed the petitioner that his son was not entitled to be declared ‘pass’ as announced by the State as he did not satisfy the attendance criteria.

Quashing the communication, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh observed that school children were facing a new challenge. They were asked to attend classes online and for the academic year 2020-2021, no physical classes were conducted. The entire year was spent only through online classes conducted by schools.

The government found that it was impossible to conduct examinations and expose students to COVID-19. Therefore, a policy decision was taken to declare as ‘pass’ all students in Class IX, X and XI. The government order showed that the only requirement was that the students must be enrolled with the school.

The order nowhere stipulated that the benefit would accrue to a student only if he fulfilled the attendance requirement. It was not known from where the Directorate of Government Examinations gathered such a requirement in the government order. It could not add something when it was not available in the government order.

There was already a surge in the number of cases of children being taken to psychiatrists for counselling during the pandemic period. Their energy was getting dissipated due to confinement inside the house. This had been going on for more than a year and society needed to find a solution to the problem by being kinder to children and not add more pressure on them, the judge said.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 5:44:53 AM |

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