Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged Union Human Resource Development Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to prevail upon the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to reconsider its decision to hike examination fees of Class X and Class IX students.
In a letter to Nishank, the Chief Minister termed the hike as “abnormal” and said it has triggered strong resentment among parents and other stakeholders. “The abnormal rise, specifically of the fees in respect of SC and ST students, by 24 times has come as a shock,” read the letter.
Informing that the State Government has opened more than 200 English Medium Model Schools affiliated to the CBSE in rural areas for the benefit of economically and socially under-privileged sections of the society, the Chief Minister said the CBSE decision is bound to result in acute hardship to them.
“I request you to prevail upon the CBSE to reconsider its decision in the interest of people. I hope and trust you will look into the matter personally and do the needful,” urged the Chief Minister.
On the day, the Odisha Parents’ Federation sought intervention of Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal in the matter.
“We strongly oppose hike in the fees for Class X and XII Board examinations by the CBSE. The exam fee has been hiked by 24 times in case of SC and ST students from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200. In case of General category students, the fee rose from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 ,” read the memorandum submitted to the Governor.
The federation also opposed the imposition of late fee of 2,000 per candidate in addition to the examination fee. “It is illegal to impose late fee for poor and needy students,” said the parents’ body.
Besides, both SC and ST and General Students will have to pay Rs 300 for appearing in an additional subject in Class X and XII. Earlier, it was not charged for SC and ST Students but Rs 150 was charged for the General category students.
Informing that the federation has already written to the Prime Minister and the HRD Minister, the federation members urged the Governor to intervene and take all required steps for withdrawal of the CBSE decision at the earliest.