SRINAGAR: Despite charging at least over sixteen crore rupees as fee for this year’s annual examinations from secondary and senior secondary students, the J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE) has so far failed to provide heating and lighting arrangements to its examinees even as the examinations are about to end.
The board has withheld the ‘committed’ money even as students have been bearing the brunt of cold and dark weather at the examination centres lately.
On Friday, as the weather turned dark, hundreds of class 12 examination candidates had to write their General English paper under candles and solar lanterns at the unelectrified centres.
The candidates also had to brave the winter cold after the staff on duty took them out of the dark centres to write papers.
While the facilities at the centres are awaited, the JKBOSE has already made its pocket richer by a whopping amount of over Rs 16 crore from 10th, 11th and 12th class students for the ongoing annual examination that stretch barely over 3 weeks (October 22-November 15).
As per a handout issued by the JKBOSE just before the annual examinations, 55,000 class 10 students had submitted the examination forms for the annual examination.
The board said that 62,000 and 69,000 class 11 and 12 students respectively were appearing for the annual examination this year.
As per the examination notification, the JKBOSE charged at least Rs 780 as examination fee for class 10. The board charged at least Rs 900 each for classes 11 and 12, the notifications for the two classes said.
The said fee structure excludes the Rs 580 late fee for the three classes charged by the board from the students.
The JKBOSE had also charged an extra Rs 180 from the class 11 and 12 students who opted for 6th subject.
Going by the minimum fee structure for the 3 classes, the JKBOSE, without even charging the late fee, earned a whopping 16 crore and eight lakh rupees.
Several CEOs and officials at many examination centres across Kashmir unequivocally denied having received any amount for the arrangements from the JKBOSE.
In-charge CEO Kulgam, Bashir Ahmad Bhat said that they did not receive any amount from the JKBOSE.
Bhat said that they had themselves made the arrangements “out of our own local funds” and had put in place heating and lighting arrangements at 19 of the total of 36 examination centres.
As the examination fee of the students “goes into the account of the JKBOSE”, it was the board’s responsibility to make the heating and lighting arrangements for the candidates at the examination centres, CEO Anantnag, Dr Nasir Ahmad told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the examination centres had been complaining about the non-availability of the required funds.
“We have taken up the matter with the JKBOSE authorities. The board probably thought that the School Education Department will look after the arrangements,” he said.
Whether the JKBOSE releases the funds or not, Dr Nasir said that they were making sure that the arrangements were in place.
CEO, Shopian, Mohammad Sadiq also complained that the JKBOSE had not released any amount for the heating or lighting arrangements.
As the board had not released any funds for the arrangements at the examination centres, CEO Baramulla, Abdul Ahad Ganai told Kashmir Reader that they were themselves working out on the arrangements.
Even if the JKBOSE had released the committed Rs 1,500 per examination centre, it would be “insufficient”, felt Ganai.
“It would have been sufficient for only heating arrangements,” he added.
When contacted, In-charge Joint Secretary Examinations JKBOSE, Syed Abdul Rouf told Kashmir Reader that they had released funds “in advance” to the particular examination centers which lacked the facilities.