Covid-hit students unable to pay fee - ECAS Punjab

Covid-hit students unable to pay fee

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Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 29

Hardik Singh (17) of Government Senior Secondary School, Laut, in Patiala, is unable to pay his class XII board exam fee. Reason: the impact of Covid-induced lockdown and cascading effect thereof on family income. Hardik's father, who works as a security guard at Bhado Majra village, said they had to bear the brunt of economic fallout of Covid.

The Punjab School Education Board has directed students to pay fee, the last date of which is November 30.

Hardik said, "The monthly salary of my father is around Rs 8,000 while my elder brother and sister are already pursuing BSc. Therefore, my father does not have money to pay my fee."

Similarly, Prabhjot Kaur, a bright student of the same school, is also unable to pay her fee for class X examination because her mother lost work due to Covid. Her mother, the only breadwinner in the family.

The Tribune has learned that there were many such children who were unable to pay the board examination fee.

School principals, along with school staff, are either paying the fee of needy kids by themselves or making arrangements to pay it, said sources.

Meanwhile, teacher unions have demanded waiver of the board examination fee. Vikram Dev, senior vice-president, Democratic Teacher Front, said, "At this pandemic time, students have been asked to deposit board examination fee which is impossible for poor parents who are struggling for their livelihood."

District Education Officer Harinder Kaur said, "All students have to pay board examination fee, except those from the SC category. Until now, there is no provision to waive the fee for poor students."

from The Tribune

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