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Delhi: Student mistakenly marked absent in Board exam, child rights body orders compensation

The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed the education department to pay a student Rs 50,000 as compensation and initiate proceedings against a principal after the student was marked absent mistakenly for a Board practical exam last year.

The student had made a request for a change in his ‘Patrachar’ centre a day before classes commenced and due to administrative confusion, he remained enrolled at both the centres. He appeared for his mathematics practical exam for the session 2019-2020 and scored 17/20 marks. However, the original centre in which he was enrolled marked him absent.

While CBSE does not allow internal marks to be changed once uploaded, once this case was brought to its attention, it offered to alter his marks from ‘Absent’ to 4/20 after being calculated on a “pro-rata basis”.

Directing the CBSE to award the student the 17/20 that he had scored, the DCPCR, following an inquiry, observed: “CBSE is an examination body, i.e. its role is to conduct examinations and report scores. By seeking to decide marks to something the child has not scored and disregarding the actual marks scored by the child, the CBSE assumes to itself powers it does not have.”

It added, “By giving him marks lower than what he has scored, the CBSE violates his right to education and deprives him of the world of opportunities that are dependent on board results in our country… [the student] has committed no wrong and yet CBSE’s policy seeks to punish a poor boy who is a victim here for no fault of his.”

The child rights body also asked the Delhi education department to make procedural changes to ensure that errors such as this are not repeated and ordered proceedings to be initiated against the ‘Patrachar’ principal of that time.

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