The government has not announced a fresh schedule for holding online lottery for admission seekers to enrol in 683 government schools across the country after it suspended the scheduled online lottery date of December 30 following a High Court Division order passed on Tuesday.
The director general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, Syed Md Golam Faruk, who announced the cancellation of the scheduled lottery, told New Age on Wednesday that the new lottery schedule would be finalised soon giving seven more days to apply in compliance with the High Court order.
‘We will talk to our lawyer about the HC order and take a decision after taking advice from the education ministry,’ Faruk said.
The HC bench of justice JBM Hassan and justice Md Khairul Alam earlier on Tuesday ordered the government to suspend the lottery schedule and to extend the admission application deadline for seven days within two working days, deputy attorney general Tushar Kanti Roy said.
The HC bench also issued a rule asking 11 respondents, including the secretary of education ministry, secretary of primary education ministry and the DG of the DSHE, to explain within four weeks why the government’s decision of not allowing students under 11-year to take admission in Class VI would not be declared illegal, he said.
The court passed the order after a writ petition had been filed by a parent seeking a directive as his daughter, who is not yet 11, could not apply for admission in Class VI for the age bar set by the government.
‘The education ministry’s admission policy for Class I to Class IX is contradictory to its circular in which the minimum age for appearing in the Secondary School Certificate examinations is 14 and a half years,’ the petitioner’s lawyer Anik R Haque pointed out.
‘If a student is allowed to take SSC exams at the age of 14 and half years, an aspirant aged 10 should be allowed admission in Class VI, he argued.
Because of the age bar, many students could not apply, he said, adding that the HC ordered the government to declare a fresh schedule after withdrawing the age bar.
Directorate director general Faruk said that they set the age bar for admission as it had been practiced since the enactment of the Admission Policy 2017 by the education ministry in the light of the National Education Policy, according to which 6 years and above was set as the minimum age for admission in Class I.
‘The problem appeared this year as many students applied online seeking admission to government schools amid the COVID-19 outbreak,’ he said.
On December 12, DSHE asked students to apply between December 15 and December 27 for online admission after deciding to hold a lottery centrally on December 30 against the vacant 77,260 seats from Class I to Class IX at the 683 government schools across the country.
During the period, 4,94,285 applications were submitted, DSHE officials said that the non-government schools and kindergartens held separate lottery for admitting students from pre-primary to Class IX.
Government primary schools require no admission test or lottery, directorate of primary education said.