LAHORE: The Supreme Court on Friday set aside a decision of the Lahore High Court and upheld jurisdiction of education board of intermediate to fix age limit for students to appear in class nine examinations.
However, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar observed that the court would decide the fate of this right enjoyed by the education boards if any student approached the court in future.
The CJP was heading a two-judge bench along with Justice Ijazul Ahsan at the Lahore registry when lawyer of the education board stated that the high court had allowed at least 42 students of below 12 years of age to sit in examinations of class nine contrary to the policy.
He said Punjab Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Act 1976 empowered the boards to fix minimum age limit for students. He said a committee comprising chairmen of nine education boards in the province made decision about setting the minimum age limit.
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CJP Nisar observed that it appeared that boards had their monopoly in education. He said the boards should deal with the students according to their potential and should not close the doors of education on them on the pretext of age.
Defending the policy, the board’s counsel pointed out that minimum age limit policy for students had been implemented all over the world. He also referred to a recent judgement of the Supreme Court wherein authority of Balochistan Education Board to devise such a policy was upheld.
The judges observed that they were not willing to authorize the education boards to restrict students from appearing in class nine’s examinations on the basis of age.
“However, we do not want to strike down this right at this moment,” CJP Nisar said.
The chief justice also directed the education board to issue result cards and certificates to students who were granted relief under the impugned judgment of the high court.