The Delhi government’s decision to not pay CBSE exam fees for class 10 and 12 students this year citing a financial crunch is being met with opposition — with online appeals, students sending postcards and a petition in the High Court.
The Delhi government had announced last year that it would cover the complete examination fee for all students taking Board exams in its schools, and had paid fees for around 3.14 lakh students following a Cabinet meeting decision. Last week, the Delhi government said fees will have to be collected from students this year.
A petition filed by NGO Social Jurist in the Delhi High Court asking that the CBSE waive its examination fees this year is also seeking that the court direct the Union and Delhi governments to pay the fee in case CBSE is unable to do so.
The petition states, “The respondent GNCTD has paid the entire CBSE Examination fee of the students studying in classes X/ XII to CBSE for the academic year 2019-20 when the situation was normal but has declined to pay when the situation has become worse.”
Last year, CBSE had increased its examination fees, making it Rs 1,200 for SC/ST students and Rs 1,500 for the rest of the students studying in both grades in Delhi government schools. With additional amounts for each subject’s practical and additional or optional subject, the fee comes to around Rs 2,500 for many class XII students.
The petition also refers to a September 7 order by the Delhi education department that directs heads of all government schools to stop collecting Rs 20 per month from senior students for the Pupil Welfare Fund. It had said that “students and parents of Delhi government schools are facing severe financial hardship which is impacting the education of students adversely”. The petition referred to this order to state that the Delhi government “is conscious of the fact that students and parents of Delhi government schools are facing severe financial hardship”.
While the petition will be heard on September 25, several students of Delhi government schools have been writing postcards to the Chief Minister and making online appeals that their exam fee be covered by the government.
“My father is a labourer. He had not been getting work because of the lockdown. Because of this, he will not be able to pay my CBSE fees, and I am appealing to the Delhi government to give me relief from the fee,” said Kajal, a class X student of a government school, in a video appeal.
“I am being asked to pay a total fee of Rs 2,900 by my school, but there is no one in my family who earns like that. I am completely unable to pay this fee. I have dreams to become someone when I grow up but if I’m not able to pay my fees, I won’t even be able to take my class XII exams,” said Jagjit Singh, student of a government school in Keshavpuram.
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