ANI Photo | State, UT Govt to frame syllabus, conduct exams for schools: CBSE opposes uniform education system

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has opposed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and sought direction to implement a uniform education system, common syllabus, and common curriculum in the mother language, up to Standard 12 for all students. 
Its reply filed in Delhi High Court stated that Education, being a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, and the majority of schools being under the jurisdiction of the State Governments, it is for the respective State/Union Territory Governments to frame syllabus, curriculum and conduct examinations for their schools. 
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) developed by the NCERT as per the mandate of the National Policy on Education sets the guidelines and direction for the development of syllabi and textbooks at all the school stages. As a follow-up to the NCF, curriculum, syllabi, textbooks, and other supplementary materials are developed by NCERT. 
State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs) and State Education Boards either adopt or adapt NCERT’s model syllabi and textbooks or develop their own syllabi and textbooks based on NCF, stated CBSE.
Therefore, in view of the above, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may graciously be pleased to dismiss the present writ petition of the petitioner as the same is devoid of merits, in the interest of justice, CBSE stated.
CBSE in its reply further stated that the Uniform Board/Syllabus across India does not take into account the local context, culture, and language. There is a national framework with flexibility for the emphasis on local resources, culture, and ethos. A child can better relate to a curriculum that is more closely related to his/ her life outside the school. Therefore, the multiplicity of curricula and other educational resources is desirable in addition to a core common element.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court had issued notice to all respondents and directed them to file their reply on the issue raised in the Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
The plea stated that the syllabus and curriculum are common for all entrance examinations viz Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), Management Aptitude Test (MAT), National Eligibility Test (NET), National Defence Academy (NDA), Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CU-CET), Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), All India Law Entrance Test (AILET), Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET), Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), National Entrance Screening Test (NEST), Probationary Officer (PO), Special Class Railway Apprentice (SCRA), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), All India Entrance Examination for Design (AIEED), National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA), Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) etc.
But the syllabus and curriculum of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), and State Boards are totally different. Thus, students don’t get equal opportunity in the spirit of Articles 14-16, stated the plea.
The petitioner Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a practising lawyer and BJP leader alleged that school mafias don’t want ‘One Nation-One Education Board’, “Coaching mafias don’t want One Nation-One Syllabus and book mafias don’t want NCERT books in all schools. That is why a uniform education system up to standard 12 has not been implemented yet.”
The petitioner submitted that the present education system is not only dividing the society among Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Below Poverty Line (BPL), Middle Income Group (MIG), High Income Group (HIG), elite class but also against ‘socialism secularism fraternity unity and integrity of the nation’. 
“Moreover, it does not provide equal opportunity to all students as the syllabus-curriculum of CBSE, ICSE, and State Board is totally different. Although harmonious-purposive construction of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 21A with Articles 38, 39, 46 confirms that education is the most important fundamental right and the state cannot discriminate on the grounds of region, religion, race, caste, class or culture,” he submitted. 
The petitioner further submitted that the student of a government school is ill-equipped to compete with the student of a private school that provides a British/French (International Baccalaureate) system of education and the gap becomes wider due to Section 1(4) and 1(5) of the Right To Education Act.
“Even though this disparity cannot be fully removed, the government can establish a standardized entrance system for college and university aspirants. Standardization of syllabus and curriculum means that everyone would have equal chances of getting into colleges and universities,” Kumar said.
“The right to education is a fundamental right. Therefore, it must be at the same level and similar standard, and not based on the child’s socioeconomic conditions. The children have the right to avail free compulsory and common education irrespective of their social-economic religious and cultural background,” said the plea.
“Uniform education for all students up to 12th standard would achieve the code of common culture, removal of disparity and depletion of discriminatory values in human relations among the citizens of this great nation. Moreover, it would enhance virtues and improve the quality of human life, elevate thoughts, which advance the constitutional philosophy of egalitarian society,” read the petition

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