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Monday, July 20, 2009

SSc,HSc answer sheets cannot be termed as confidential

It's been a hectic few weeks of positive developments in the education field especially where the board exams are concerned. The HRD Minsiter has already set in motion several steps to abolish the CBSE board exams. Schools have begun evolving into better and comprehensive educational zones as a result. It took just a few weeks for the curriculum and modus of education to change in the CBSE schools. Students who were presurrised to do projects beyond their capabilities and give tests and exams at every level have found that the pressure has begun to ease a little. More and more recreational subjects have been introduced and the number of projects to be evaluated on has decreased. Students are already beginning to feel the stress level go down...

In a welcome change has taken place... the previous stand of the boards -of not entertaining applications by students to see their answer sheets, has been struck down by the Pune Information commissioner(RTI) . The Chief Mr Vjay Kuvalekar has asked the state boards to amend their policy within a stipulated time so that studenst will be allowed to inspect their answer sheets at the earliest. It is definitely a development of great import. The previous stand violated the fundamental rights of a student. This welcome change was brought about by a petition filed by HSc student Abhijit Joshi with the HSc board which the board promptly rejected saying that the answer sheets were confidential documents. But Joshi was not one to give up. He filed an RTI application with the Information Commissioner chief heard both sides and came to the conclusion that answer sheets could not be equated as confidential documents and therefore had to be shown to the student on request.Kuvalekar pointed out that answer sheets were not covered under section 8 of the RTI act. It's is not possible for the viewing of answer sheets to affect the soveriegnty and integrity of India(which can be the only reason for documents being kept secret). I think this move will be welcomed by all aggrieved students and parents who felt their children might have fared better than the marks received from the board. Hopefully the board will come to it's senses and do the needful.

Yet anther development is the Shiv Sena's opposition to the ATKT for students who have failed the board exams. This seems to be a clearly politically motivated move to capture the votes of the naysayers. It must be understood that students have to go through immense trauma when they fail such exams denoted as integral to the future, by society. There is no way that quality of education will be affected by this move. In fact it will only improve the quality when students feel less stressed and more able to inculcate the teachings the education system dishes out as part of it's curriculum. There are so many students getting depressed and attemting suicide because falure in these board exams gets them ostracised from their near and dear ones, they feel alienated and unsupported and their sense of well-being is majorly affected because the people who they have come to depend on make them feel worthless. Are these students lives not precious? Or is it better to sacrifice their lives, hopes and ambitions on the altar of educational quality?????

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