Annual fee Rs 100; printing charges Rs 280
The government decision to provide free education to the girl child up to the higher secondary level has proved a damp squib with the students crying hoarse over the printing charge which are at higher scale than their annual fee.
This amount they have to pay as the printing charge for Term I and Term II exams conducted by State Institute of Education (SIE) from the current academic year.
The circular in this regard has been issued by SIE after it was empowered by the government to conduct the exams of students from Primary to Middle classes including 9th in Government as well Private schools in JK state.
However, the circular issued by SIE asking the school heads to collect money from students has come as a shock for underprivileged people whose children are enrolled in the government schools.
“I have enrolled my three kids in a government school and the school authorities are charging huge amount for exams which will be conducted by SIE. But I can’t afford this huge amount besides paying annual fee for all the three kids,” said an elderly parent of district Kupwara.
As per the SIE order, the students in primary classes have to pay an amount of Rs 180 for their Term I and Term II exams while as students in middle classes (6th, 7th, 8th) and 9th have to pay Rs 280.
On the other hand the school education department, as per the fee structure charges Rs 100 per annum from primary class students while as students in middle classes including 9th pay Rs 200 per year.
“Parents from Gujjar community and other backward class are not ready to pay the amount. Given their resources, they cant afford it. These parents don’t even afford to pay the annual tuition fee which is less than the printing charge,” said one of the teachers wishing anonymity.
The parents as well as the teachers posted in schools of far-off places express their criticized the government for charging money from the students for exams.
“We were amused with the previous decision of government to provide waiver to girl students up to 12th class, but now it is a shock for us as government is charging exam fee from girl students, which is more than that of their school fee,” said a underprivileged parent from Kupwara district.
The school education department this year empowered SIE to conduct the exams of the primary and middle classes following which all the private schools were asked to adopt the books prescribed by JK Board of School Education (BOSE).
“The Term I and Term II examination from class 5th to 9th will be conducted with External Evaluation under overall supervision of State Institute of Education, Kasmir," reads the circular issued by DSEK on December 10, 2016.
In the circular all the private recognized schools of Kashmir division including Ladakh and Kargil were asked to adopt JK BOSE text books.
The decision to empower SIE for holding exams was conducted after the government decided to review “NO-Detention” policy implemented by the school education department up to class 9th.
On Monday, J&K government decided to re-introduce “Detention Policy” at Class 5th and Class 8th with provision for special remedial teachings for a period of two to three months during vacations.
Meanwhile, Principal SIE Kashmir, Suraya Akhtar said the money will be utilized for printing of question and answer papers for students besides its utilization for monitoring and website charges.
“We have to provide money to the teachers who will be deputed for exam duty and evaluators as well,” Principal SIE said.
“Till date schools used to conduct exams but now it will be conducted at a larger level by SIE same like that of JKBOSE,” she said.
Principal SIE said the people having objections with the order should approach the directorate and administrative department who have approved the order.
“We didn’t receive any complaint yet, let people approach DSEK or administrative department,” she said.