Encouraging education of girl child does not seem to be a priority of the School Education Department in our state.
According to the Early Times, the department has revised overall admission fee for various levels- class 1st to 5th, 6th to 8th, 9th to 10th and 11th to 12th, for the academic year 2018-19.
According to the order, each student from 1st to 5th class will have to pay Rs. 200 as admission fee which include School Improvement fund, Red Cross fund, Mutual Benefit fund, Games Fund, Admission Fee, Printing fund, Science fund, Computer fund, Library Development Fund, Social Activity fund, Sweeping charges, Magazine fund, form & prospects, Electricity/Telephone fund and news fund. Similarly the students from 6th to 8th class has been asked to pay Rs. 375, from 9th to 10th Rs. 850 & from 11th to 12th Rs. 1400 however the girls students has been exempted from paying admission fee which is Rs. 15 from 1st to 5th, Rs. 25 from 6th to 8th , Rs. 40 from 9th to 10th and Rs. 75 from 11th to 12th. Further the schools were allowed to retain 80% of the School Improvement Fund, 75% of Games Fund , 50% of the Red Cross fund and 80% of Social Activity Fund.
It is said that most of the mentioned activities do not take place in these schools at all and yet the costs have to be paid by students of all categories of students with immediate effect.
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It is of a concern that only meagre amounts of Rs. 15, Rs 25, Rs. 40 & Rs. 75 has been exempted from the overall fee of a girl child right from 1st to 12th class in four different level category of the admission. This might become barrier to girls education in Government schools of Jammu & Kashmir.
Further charging a hefty examination fee- 300 upto 8th class, Rs. 730 for 10th as well as Rs. 450 as Registration fee in 9th class, from girls clearly shows nonchalant attitude of authorities in promoting girl-education.
While the mentioned amounts may seem small to people living in town, it is definitely a lot for the poor and the people living in remote areas of our state. It is due to such factors that discourage girls from poor and backward areas lag behind and drop out from school.