The Delhi government will not pay Central Board Secondary Examination (CBSE) the fee for class 10 and 12 students studying in its schools this year, with officials attributing the decision to a fund crunch.
On Friday, the education department sent a circular to heads of all government schools, directing them to carry out the payment of examination and CBSE registration fees as per the process followed in 2018-2019.
“It would be the responsibility of the Head of School to submit the LOC [List of Candidates] of classes X and XII along with CBSE examination fee… within the stipulated time on the link provided by CBSE… Request for waiving off the fee/penalty imposed by CBSE will not be entertained under any circumstances by the department,” read the circular.
“It is just too expensive for us to bear the cost, which came up to Rs 100 crore this year. There is a severe financial crunch,” said a government source.
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 Delhi government had announced last year that it would cover the complete examination fee for all students taking Board exams in its schools. It paid the fees for around 3.14 lakh students following a Cabinet meeting decision last year.
Prior to the hike, the fee, which used to be Rs 375 for class X and Rs 600 for class XII students for five subjects, was paid by the candidates. For SC/ST students, Rs 50 was charged, with the remainder — Rs 325 for class X, and Rs 550 for class XII — being reimbursed by the government to the Board.
With family finances under a severe crunch this year, several parents are finding the fee demand to be out of their reach. “I have two children; both are in class XII. I am being asked to pay Rs 2,450 as fee per child. I just can’t. I do ironing work in an upscale residential area but the kothis stopped calling me for work for a long time. Now I get work occasionally and make around Rs 200-300 per day,” said Sudha Devi, a single mother who lives in Madanpur Khadar.
Her neighbour Shanti Devi Rana said she will have to pay more than Rs 3,000. “I have two grandchildren, and both will be writing their class X boards next year. I have been bringing them up myself since their father died a few years ago. I used to earn by sewing designs and sequins on garments but there has been no work since the lockdown. We make do on monthly rations; I don’t even buy milk for the house. How can I pay Rs 1,600 per child in this state?” said Shanti Devi Rana
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