LAHORE - The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday set aside education boards’ condition of 12-year age for children to sit the 9th class exams.

A division bench consisting of Justice Shamas Mehmood Mirza and Justice Muzammal Akhtar Shabbir announced the verdict, and declared the policy unconstitutional. The bench observed that age should not become a hurdle in attainment of education, which is a fundamental right of every citizen under article 25A of the Constitution.

The bench held that the policy of 12-year age mentioned in rule 1A of the calendar under the Punjab Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education Act 1975 was unconstitutional.

A number of students had moved the court against the age-restriction policy of the board through Advocate Sheraz Zaka and submitted that equal education was the fundamental right under Article 25 of the Constitution but unfortunately education boards had made rules that children below the age of 12 were not eligible to get admission to 9th class.

The lawyer argued that students who were below 12 were being deprived of their right to education, as the board was not allowing them to appear in 9th class exam. He said that there was no provision in the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2014, which imposed such condition. He submitted that it was discriminatory that a student had to be 12 years of age to appear in the ninth class exam and this policy of the boards of intermediate was a violation of Article 25A of the Constitution.

He submitted that in parallel O and A levels exams there was no age restriction policy.

He said that this restriction was unjust and violation of the constitution as no one could be deprived of education. He asked the court to set aside the age restriction policy mentioned in calendar rule 1A of the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Act 1976 for being ultra vires as it infringes fundamental rights.