Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to the Ministry of Human Resource Development that the “abnormal” rise in Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) fees, specifically for SC and ST students, has come as a “shock”.
Last week, CBSE announced increase in fees of Class 10 and 12 board examinations for SC and ST students from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200. The fee was almost doubled —- to Rs 1,500 —- for the general category.
In the letter addressed to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Patnaik urged him to have the decision reconsidered.
“You may be aware that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Ministry of HRD, recently caused a sharp hike in the examination fee of Class-X and Class-XII students causing resentment among parents and stakeholders,” Patnaik wrote. “The abnormal rise, specifically of the fees in respect of SC and ST students by 24 times, has come as a shock.”
Citing the letter, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “I too endorse Odisha CM’s views. I hope Centre would respond positively on this.”
Patnaik’s letter comes after a federation of parents’ bodies of CBSE-run schools urged him to write to the Centre. They made a similar appeal to Odisha’s School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash and MPs from the state.
The CM also informed the Union Minister that the Odisha government has opened more than 200 English medium model schools affiliated to CBSE in rural areas “for the benefit of economically and socially under-privileged sections of the society”. “This decision is bound to cause acute hardship to them,” he wrote.