Delhi: In order to help the most financially deprived students pay their hefty CBSE exam fees before the final dates, schools needs to send the list of candidates for the board exams on October 15, many Delhi government school stakeholders are trying to find ways like finding donors, crowdsourcing, teachers paying themselves, etc.
CBSE increased exam fees for Class X and XII drastically. Then, the Delhi government had announced that it would pay the complete exam fees for students of government schools. However, now, they stepped back due to lack of fund and said the exam fees should to be collected from students, due to which many families are hard-pressed to pay the amount.
“We have set up a help desk in our school to help parents with admissions. Some parents approached us and said they cannot pay the exam fees. At first, we said there’s nothing we could do to waive the fee and they will have to pay it.
But day before yesterday, a visibly distressed family came to the school, and we were moved to contribute Rs.500 each for the fees. Members of other SMCs of schools in areas like Ghonda, Gokalpur and Karawal Nagar have also informed me of other such extremely distressed families.
So, between ourselves, “we have raised the amount for fees for 12-13 students, and through donors — businesses, NGOs, wealthy relatives — for around five children,” said Gunjan Gover, school management committee (SMC) coordinator for Northeast Delhi I district and an SMC member of a girl’s school in Burari, who has to assist over 15 students in paying their fees — which starts at Rs.1,800 and go up to more than Rs.2,500.
According to a principal of a Northwest Delhi school they have given an ‘open offer’ to students regarding to the high fees.
“By now, around 90% of students have paid their fees. If any child comes forward and says he or she cannot pay, and if their class teacher can verify they are very strained, we will find a way to pay their fees.
So far, we found that six students who came forward will be unable to pay. We teachers have put together the amount between ourselves and will use the school’s Pupil Welfare Fund if the need arises,” he added.
All India Parents’ Association is also making attempt to crowdfund fees and sent out appeals on social media and e-mails to ask people to contribute to students’ fees.
“Money has started coming in, but the scale of the problem is very large. A few days ago, three people contributed Rs.500 each to me for this purpose but this doesn’t cover the fee of even one student. Whereas, in every school, there are going to be multiple children for whom paying will be very difficult,” said AIPA president Ashok Agarwal.
Even Gunjan Grover said her efforts cannot cater to all reports of distress she is receiving. According to her SMC members have to priorities and decide who are the most distressed, since they only have limited resources.