The chairman of the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has written to the CBSE chairman urging that the board’s exam and registration fees be waived for government school students, stating that the child rights body has been approached by many parents who said they may not be able to sustain schooling given the high fee.
“…Loss in jobs and income has most drastically hit the unorganised informal sector, which is the biggest employer of families of the children studying in government schools,” wrote DCPCR chairman Anurag Kundu. He wrote the commission “has received multiple requests from the parents for relaxation of fee as they may have to pull their children out of schools because they will not be able to afford even the examination fee.”
The CBSE had increased its examination fee for class X and XII students last year, taking it to over Rs 2,000 for most students and over Rs 2,400 for many class XII students. Last year, the Delhi government had paid this fee for all students of its government schools but it will not be paying it this year, citing a financial crunch. Schools have been directed by CBSE to collect the fees and submit the list of candidates for the 2021 board examinations by October 15. Urging that either the fee be waived off for students of government schools or be reduced by 75%, Kundu referred to data on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment and earnings.
“In September, India stood at an unemployment rate of 6.67%, while Delhi was at 12.5%, which is markedly higher than the national average, according to data from the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy. Of the remaining employable workforce nearly 35-40% (up to 200 million workers) may be underemployed with no real work, or employed but earning 50% or less of their former salary in urban centers,” he wrote.
The Indian Express has reported that in the absence of government aid to students to shoulder these fees, various non-government organisations and individuals have donated to fund students’ fees and have been organising fundraisers for the same.
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