Tribune News Service
Faridkot, November 27
The decision of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) to charge Rs200 as registration fee and Rs550 and Rs850 as examination fee from Classes V and VIII students, respectively, of private schools has been opposed.
After doing away with the no-detention policy for Class V and VIII students following an amendment to the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act in January this year, the PSEB is conducting the annual exams for these students in February 2020 after a gap of eight years.
Punjab has total 13,900 primary and 5,217 middle schools. Of these, 884 primary and 2,497 middle schools are private recognised and unrecognised institutions.
“While all students of government and government-aided schools have been exempted from the registration and examination fee, the private school students have been asked to pay Rs200 registration fee, Rs550 exam fee for Class V and Rs850 for Class VIII,” said Ravinder Singh Mann, state president, Recognized Affiliated Schools Association (RASA).
Over two lakh students in the private schools in the state are going to be affected by the decision of the PSEB, said Mann.
Besides, the PSEB has also fixed Rs2,000 as migration fee for students of Class V and VIII, who have shifted from other states or other education boards.
“Charging such fees from these students is a clear cut violation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, which makes mandatory free and compulsory education up to Class VIII. By making an amendment to the Act only to evaluate the performance of students, the PSEB is imposing heavy fees on the students,” said SK Chawla, president, Punjab Private Schools Organisation.
“It is highly illogical that the PSEB is charging Rs1,500 as migration fee from the Class X and XII students, but the fee for Class V and VIII students has been fixed at Rs2,000. With an intention to demoralise the students and managements of private schools, the PSEB has made it mandatory for all private schools to get the building safety certificate every year, besides the examination fees,” said Mann.
Manohar Kant Kalohia, Chairman, PSEB, did not respond to repeated phone calls and text messages. However, sources in the PSEB said as the government and aided school were exempted from the fees, the PSEB was left with no option, but to generate funds by charging the fee from the private schools.
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