The High Court on Tuesday stayed the school admission guidelines 2017 that disqualified students aged under 11 years from applying online for admission to Class VI at 44 government schools in the 2021 academic year.
The court asked the education ministry to modify in two working days the programming code of the software enabling students to apply online.
The court also extended the deadline for submitting online applications by seven days, after the modification of the software.
The vacation bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Mohammad Mijanur Rahman, father of student Ayesha Akhter, who is seeking admission to Class VI.
Students aged under 11 years can now apply for admission to Class VI at all government-run schools in the 2021 academic season and school authorities will need to hold a fresh lottery for selecting the candidates, petitioner’s lawyer Monjur Elahi Porag told New Age.
He said that most of the parents were compelled to change the age of their children illegally to get admission to Class VI at all government and private schools due to the age barrier imposed by the education ministry with effect from the 2021 academic year.
He said that the court did not pass any order regarding admission to Class VI at the private schools since their issue was not brought to the court’s notice.
The court also issued a rule asking the government to explain in four weeks why the admission guidelines 2017 would not be declared illegal.
Education and primary and mass education secretaries, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education director general, Dhaka Education Board chairman and Munshiganj district education officer were among the nine respondents in the petition.
The petitioner’s senior counsel Aneek R Haque told the court that the 11-year age barrier on admission to Class VI contradicted the circular issued by the Dhaka Education Board on January 14, 2016 setting minimum age of students’ at 12 years to get admission to class IX.
He said that his client’s daughter was disqualified from applying for admission to Class VI at AVJM Govt Girls High School in Munshiganj although she completed Class V in 2020.
He said that the admission guidelines 2017 should not be applicable to his client’s daughter as she got admission in class I at the age of 5 in 2016 before the framing of the guidelines that set minimum age of six years for admission to Class I and 11 years for admission to Class VI.
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