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Kishtwar: Free education, cruel joke with poor students
Exam fee collected from students during flood furry yet to be returned
9/19/2017 11:43:20 PM

Asif Iqbal Naik

Kishtwar Sep 19: Ever since the present dispensation has come into power, it has been taking various reformative and progressive steps to over haul the Education system in Jammu and Kashmir. At the same time it has been more proactive with the welfare and protective policy of girl education, but the execution of all such measures are proving regressive and counterproductive itself leaving a trail of miseries and increased drop outs from the schools in the state.
As per the details available with Early Times, state declared free education for girls, a step which gave hope and enthusiasm to the hitherto poor people to educate their daughters; but all ended in fiasco as the schools are charging examination and registration fee as Rs.180 for class 5th and Rs 280 for class 6th and 7th respectively which is being collected on the advice of cluster heads of respective clusters on the orders of higher authorities.
The officials sources told the Early Times that previously these charges were not more than Rs 50 for the entire process---- so the statistics clearly show that the expenses for the same pattern and procedure have risen five times which is nothing less than rubbing salts on the wounds of poor people and making mockery of free girl education.
Surprisingly, when last year DIET Kishtwar conducted the examination, Rs 80000 remained surplus in the account of CEO Kishtwar which is still lying there unused and unclaimed even after completing the examination.
In addition to above, the amount of fee collected from the students in 2014 before mass promotion were given to the students across the state following flood furry in the State has not been reimbursed to the students even after three years.
It is not only the students feel cheated, the parents along with their wards have to travel several kilometres by foot and transport to reach nearest place to take photographs for the exams since most of the areas of Kishtwar are hilly and inaccessible terrain which don't have even the basic facilities of life and have to bear the boarding and lodging expenses apart from transport fare to reach the accessible place which puts extra financial burden on these poor people.
The irony is that the private schools have been exempted from this practice which have been given a free hand to decide the things as per their whims and wishes.
It has reiterated time and again by the government that they are having the best qualified teachers in the government schools, but at the same puts a question mark on their credibilty by resorting to unnecessary and uncalled new rules which demoralises them both in their efforts and practice.
"If a private school can conduct the examination on its own, why should the government schools not be allowed to conduct the same despite the fact that there is huge gap between the exposure of private and government school students who need more attention and free atmosphere. The reason behind creating such a barrier is not understandable" said Tanveer Malik, President Education Reforms Teachers Association added a budding kid who is accommodative and responsive to his teacher is put in an emotional and psychological trauma by unfamiliar conditions set around the board examination.
"The mental unprepardness seriously effects the performance of the child failing the very purpose of the scheme" said Malik added that "It is evident from the above said facts that this exercise has been taken in haste without taking all factors in mind and no pros and cons have been taken in to consideration".
He said that the issue has been time and again brought to the notice of education Minister by various organisations to redress the issue on factual grounds.
He said that he is again requesting the authorities at the helm of affairs to look in to matter and do not make fun of poor people in the name of free education.
It is pertinent to mention here that secrecy and transparency is the focal point of board examination, but the practice in place is the reverse of the matter.
The answer sheets which number in lakhs are thrown to dust bins to be eaten by insects and there is no set procedure to maintain the secrecy of answer sheets cum examination material.
Moreover the examination needs plethora of manpower to carry the examination since the number of students appearing are huge in numbers and this leads to over engagements of staff which hampers the regular class work in the schools across the state.
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