The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Testing time for ailing student
- HS Council wants examinee to reappear for qualifiers

Promita Kundu, diagnosed with cancer, couldn’t sit for her Higher Secondary exams in 2002. But a trip down south proved that the girl from Garia was suffering from ‘abdominal malfunction’, for which she went under the knife last April.

Now, Promita is back to books, but may be forced to lose another year, as the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary (HS) Education has denied her permission to appear for the exams in 2003 without clearing the qualifiers this year, despite having done so in 2002, before her illness was detected.

The student of Boral High School, a government-aided institution in Garia, has approached Justice Arun Kumar Mitra to direct the HS Council to allow her to sit for the exams in 2003 without taking the qualifying test this time around. A single bench of Calcutta High Court will hear Promita’s petition next week.

Despite receiving her admit card (no: 610211) last year, Promita could not appear for the finals after being diagnosed with cancer. But then, her father, Prodip Kundu, a businessman, took her to Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, where the initial prognosis was rejected.

Back in the city and physically fit, Promita wanted to appear for the finals this year. When approached with her appeal, the school management had no objection in sending her up for the HS 2003 examinations. The Council, however, has questioned the school’s decision, saying there are no rules to allow such a departure from the norm.

Promita’s counsel Supradip Roy said the school headmaster had assured the student soon after her return to the city that she would not have to appear for the qualifiers again. She was allowed to fill up the HS examination forms directly.

Last October, the school authorities wrote to the Council to clear Promita’s forms, but they were rejected. The Higher Secondary Council, Roy argued, did not take into consideration the background information regarding Promita’s health problems and evidence of her success in clearing last year’s qualifying tests.

According to Roy, the Council had said there were no rules to allow a student to sit for the Board examinations if he or she has not passed the qualifying test in the same academic year. But Roy argued that a candidate could not be asked to take the same qualifying examination that he or she had passed earlier.

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