Amid big claims of Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh and education Minister Vijay Inder Singla to help parents of students, the fact that Punjab School Education Board has collected Rs 80 crore from its 6 lakh students of Class X and XII as examination fee has exposed the double standard of government.
What is more surprising, Board authorities have collected the fee without conducting any exam, which was cancelled after the outbreak of Covid-19 in the state. When despite deferring the exams repeatedly, authorities failed to conduct exams, they declared the results of students on the basis of their pre-board examination.
Since the majority of the middle class and upper-class families have got enrolled their children in private schools, most students of board affiliated schools are from poor families while the outbreak of covid has multiplied their problems.
Many unions of teachers have started asking the government authorities to return the money collected from poor families, but there must be a high-level inquiry that on whose directions, the exam fee was collected. State government must set up a special committee to ascertain the facts of all exercise and to fix the accountability. The differences between higher authorities of the education department have emerged recently on various issues and every time, the government has been putting such differences under wraps by offering various excuses.
But the collection of a fee from poor students is a most serious issue during covid pandemic. Though to cover up its latest blunder, the government may offer another excuse, but its another issue, which has exposed the lack of coordination between CM office and education department.