Saturday 22 October 2016

Only Schools Recommended by Experts Can Have Plus-Two: HC


Kerala High Court today directed that only schools recommended by six-member expert committee, which had received approval of Higher Secondary Education Director, can be given sanction to start plus two courses and additional batches this year.

The court also made it clear that certain schools recommended by the committee, which had failed to get education director's approval, shall be given provisional sanction to function forthwith, subject to conditions stipulated in the government order of July 31 this year.

The interim directions were issued by Justice P R Ramachandra Menon while admitting 85 petitions challenging the government order sanctioning plus two schools and 411 additional batches.

The court made it clear that no school which does not meet the requirements under clause 8(vii) of the government order dated July 31, shall be permitted to function.

Educational need, if any, in other areas can be considered later based on the materials to be substantiated, it held.

The court, which went through the files in the plus two case, also wanted to know "what was the material before the government to have felt the educational need of any of the southern districts remains obscure,?"

Justice Menon said the files do not disclose as to 'who' pointed out the educational need, 'How' it was pointed out and 'when' it was put forth. No such opinion or material is available from the files. There is no comparative analysis of the merits/demerits of the concerned schools with reference to such 'opinions but for giving the select list as a bolt from the blue', the court observed.

The letter dated June 18 sent by Director of Higher Education to Education secretary clearly reveals that no verification could be conducted with regard to the credentials of the applicants because of paucity of time, it pointed out.

The court said it does not want to make any comments at this stage on the files produced by the government, but held that it was not complete as it did not contain the opinion of local representatives, if any, which allegedly tilted the balance and comparative merits/demerits of schools concerned.

Muslim Education Society and others had approached the court stating that the plus two courses were not sanctioned based on the educational need and on the basis of recommendations of an expert committee.

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