SRINAGAR: The government is yet to return examination fee to the students who were promoted en masse more than 10 months ago.
In March last year, then-state government promoted about 14 lakh students in class 1st to 11th without conducting their annual examination. Only the class 10 students had to undergo the examination.
Before the move was taken in view of the hardships caused by the September-2014 floods, the students of classes 8th, 9th, and 11th had already submitted their examination fees.
Each student of class 8th had submitted Rs 100 as fees, while the students of classes 9th and 11th had paid Rs 180 and Rs 410 per head, respectively.
In reply to an RTI by one Umar Javeed, the government stated that it has not returned the amount to the students. Only the students belonging to “poor economic background” have been returned the fee, it said.
The RTI revealed that in an education zone in Bandipora, for instance, 8,054 promoted students had paid Rs 18.6945 to the government. Not a penny was returned to anyone of them, it revealed.
In another education zone of the north Kashmir district, an amount of Rs 2, 17, 460 was collected from 9,795 promoted students, and nothing was paid back, it showed.
In an education zone in south Kashmir, Rs 75,700 was taken from class 8 students. Of the amount, the RTI revealed, only Rs 1,900 were returned to students from a “poor background”.
In the same zone, Rs 1, 07, 660 and Rs 1, 30, 460 were collected from the students of classes 9th and 11th, respectively, it showed.
The zone has spent Rs 15,540 of the amount collected from class 9th students on stationary, while the money taken from class 11th students is still with the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education.
According to the RTI, the unspent money of class 8 students has been deposited in Directorate of School Education (DIET). Half of the amount taken from the students of classes 9th and 11th has been spent on stationary, while the rest of it is either lying with the schools or with the Board, it stated.
In zone Verinag, the government had taken Rs 1, 72,140 from 6,363 students.
It has provided Rs 57, 255 to DIET, Rs 31,240 to Board, and spent Rs 55,675 on expenditure, the RTI showed, adding that an amount of Rs 14,890 was refunded to students, while Rs 13,080 is with the schools in the zone.
Former education minister, Naeem Akhtar told Kashmir Reader that he cannot recall what his government wanted to do with the money.
“I do not remember what we had planned. You should talk to the present government,” Naeem said.
Director school education, Shah Faesal, said the government would not return the money to the student, but “will make a proposal on how to utilise it for administrative purposes”.