Child cannot be denied promotion to higher class on grounds of inadequate academic performance

Kerala High
Court: In a significant decision A.K. Jayasankaran
Nambiar, J., while dealing with the issue that, whether the respondent school in the light of the Right of Children
to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 and the Kerala Right of Children to
Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2011, can refuse to promote any student
undergoing an elementary education to a higher class on the ground of
inadequate academic performance, held that the statutory mandate under Sections
13, 16 and 17 of the Right to Education Act does not permit the respondent
school to detain the petitioner’s child on the ground of unsatisfactory
academic performance, as the fundamental right of a child to elementary
education which stems from Article 21-A of the Constitution and read with the Act concerned and the Rules, cannot be made conditional on a child who has
failed to obtain the minimum marks as prescribed by the school.

The aggrieved mother approached the Court via the
present petition, as her son was not promoted to Class VII by the Vidyodaya
School authorities for failing to attain the minimum qualifying standards as
set by the school. The petitioner was represented by Mary Benjamin, while K.G.
Kannanathnam appeared for the respondent school.

The Court perused the concerned Sections of the
Right to Education Act read with the relevant State Rules and observed, that
the provisions make it very clear that once a student has been admitted to a
recognized school, then he/she must progress through the various stages of elementary
education and should not be held back or expelled until and unless the
elementary education is complete. The Court further observed that the academic
performance of the student in any year can be of no significance when the
statute mandates that a student must receive compulsory education during the
years between Class II and Class VIII. [Kitty Sanil v. State of
Kerala, 2015 SCC OnLine Ker 11303
, decided on 25.05.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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