ITANAGAR, Aug 10: Students of some government schools in Papum Pare district are reportedly having to pay over the prescribed school fee limit even after the state government issued an order on 30 July to schools to abide by the prescribed fee structure.
As per complaints received by one Nabam Issac, “the principal/headmaster of government higher secondary and secondary schools of Papum Pare district are not complying with the prescribed fee structure, have hiked admission fees, and are charging fee for the textbooks, which are supposed to be provided free of cost.”
As per the order issued by the education secretary, each student from Classes 9 to 12 is to pay Rs 120 as admission fee, Rs 100 for AISS/AISSC (internal) board examination per annum, and the prescribed fees of the CBSE.
“Apart from these prescribed fee norms, no other fees should be collected/taken from the students for the academic session 2020-21,” the order read.
The education secretary had also said that the fee should be refunded to the student concerned immediately if any school had collected more than the prescribed fee.
“The clear-cut directives have been given in the tentative calendar of school activities 2019-20. The head of the institution shall be personally responsible to ensure following of these instructions. Violation of the above guidelines shall attract disciplinary as well as penal provisions as per rules,” the order read.
Despite the 30 July order, the complainant claimed, “The schools are charging varying sums of Rs 500, 1,500, 2,000 and 3,500 from different students, even if they are from the same class.”
As per a receipt provided to this daily, a student was charged Rs 2,450 for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination/registration fee for the 2020-21 session.
According to 2019 reports, the CBSE fee for the SC and ST students of classes 10 and 12 was increased from Rs 375 to Rs 1,200 for five subjects.
The fee for the general category students was doubled from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 for five subjects.
The complainant said that the student (whose receipt was provided to this daily) was also charged Rs 220 instead of Rs 100, and was charged additionally for textbooks.
“The CBSE exam fee should not amount to Rs 2,450 even if we combine it with the internal exam fee for the CBSE. The textbooks must also be distributed for free according to the Right to Education Act, 2005,” Issac said, and claimed that “this was one of the many cases in the capital schools.”
The complainant said that he met the Papum Pare DDSE on Monday regarding the non-compliance with the order issued by the education secretary.
Stating that the DDSE assured that the matter would be looked into, the complainant has sought strict and immediate action against the school authorities concerned for “charging above the prescribed fee, especially at a time of crisis.”
The education secretary did not respond to queries sent by this daily.