Apex court asks Centre for clarity on third language in CBSE

Apex court asks Centre for clarity on third language in CBSE

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to explain the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum that mandated all students taking up class X board examinations to clear the third language paper prescribed for classes VI to VIII.

The government recently exempted students from appearing for the Sanskrit language examination, which replaced German, in central schools across the country.

A bench of Justices A R Dave and Kurian Joseph told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to hold a meeting of the top brass of the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry, CBSE and Kendriya Vidyala Sangathan, and make a submission before the court on December 16.

“No student should be disqualified and put to any difficulty,” the bench said after advocate Reena Singh, appearing for a petitioner, pointed out the CBSE norm for students taking up secondary school examination.

She contended that the students have been put to “acute stress” and there was total chaos though the Centre submitted that the students who were told to study Sanskrit in place of German mid-session would not have to undergo any examination at the end of the academic year.

According to the CBSE curriculum guideline 2014, she claimed that a student has to complete the three-year language course before he or she is allowed to appear for the board exams.

The attorney general on December 5 produced a letter by a senior officer of the HRD ministry stating that “in view of the concern expressed by the court, and to ensure that no stress is caused to the students, there will be no examinations in this academic session for those students studying Sanskrit or any other modern Indian language as the third Indian language, in place of German as the third language for remaining part of the academic year.”

The controversy is related to the Centre's decision to introduce Sanskrit in October for students studying German under the three-language formula.

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