The Madras High Court came down heavily on the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for not issuing a circular to all affiliated schools to enforce its recent order prohibiting homework for students of classes I and II. “The Central Board of Secondary Education has not understood the seriousness of this case and the directions issued by the court. CBSE authorities think they are like CBI but that’s not so,” Justice N Kirubakaran said. Justice Kirubakaran also said that the board secretary should appear in the High Court if the circular was not issued by August 17.
The High Court has also directed education secretaries of Puducherry and Tamil Nadu if they failed to respond to a circular issued by the central government in connection with the no homework rule by August 17. In an interim order on May 29, the court had directed the Centre to instruct all the state governments to reduce the weight of bags of school children and ensure that no homework was assigned to students of classes I and II.
While hearing a petition filed by advocate M Purushothaman, seeking a direction to the CBSE to make use of NCERT-prescribed syllabus and books mandatory, Justice Kirubakaran had passed an interim order and said the use of National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books be made mandatory. During the subsequent hearing, the board had informed the court that it would implement the court's order of no homework and also said that it had filed an appeal against all other orders.
When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the board said that the circular on homework was yet to be issued, following which the judge Kirubakaran expressed his displeasure. The petitioner alleged that the court's order is not being implemented because there's a nexus between the CBSE authorities, private CBSE schools, and private book publishers.
“That is the reason why they did not move an appeal against the Delhi High Court order which said schools can prescribe to books of private publishers. But the authorities have moved an appeal against the order of this court which prohibited books of private publishers,” Purushothaman charged.