LAHORE: Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday adjourned for final arguments several petitions, challenging a policy of Lahore Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) that bars students less than 12 years of age from enrolling for Class 9.
During the hearing, a division bench, comprising Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh and Justice Shahid Karim, questioned the BISE counsel under what law the age restriction had been imposed considering there was no such regulation for O-level exams.
The counsel said that it was written in Section 1, Chapter 19 of the BISE Calendar. Earlier, Advocate Sheraz Zaka, representing the petitioners, had argued that there was no such provision in the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2014 that imposed such a condition.
“It is discriminatory that in order to appear in 9th class exams, a student has to be 12 years of age. This policy is a violation of Article 25-A of Constitution which promises free and compulsory primary education,” he had said. Zaka said that the rule was harsh and could impede the promotion of education.
The bench observed that Pakistan had two parallel education systems: one was regulated by boards of intermediate and secondary education and the other by Cambridge University that did not place any such restriction.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2016.