KOZHIKODE: In another instance of making a mockery of the Right to Education Act, the technical high schools in the state are charging the students entering class VIII a fee of `170 from each, which is a hike of `100. Until last academic year, the admission fees were `70.
Express’ had reported on March 4 on how the Education Department was still charging fee from the students from class V to XII.
There are currently 39 technical schools in the state under Technical Education Department, with their distribution - Thiruvananthapuram (3), Kollam (2), Alappuzha (3), Kottayam (6), Ernakulam (4), Idukki (3), Thrissur (2), Palakkad (3), Malappuram (3), Kozhikode (3), Kannur (3), Kasargod (2) and Wayanad (2). The new prospectus issued by the
Technical Education Department, from Thiruvananthapuram, also clearly explains the distribution of fees. Admission fee is `30 in the first year, association fee - `20 every year, athletics fee - `20 every year, calendar/ magazine/ special amenities fee - ` 20 every year, examination fee - `50 every year and caution deposit -`50 for the first year only. However, the students have been exempted from paying the tuition fee. As per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, which came to effect in 2009, every child of the age of six to fourteen years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in a neighbourhood school till completion of elementary education. Paying scant regard to it, lakhs of rupees are being collected every year from school students under the aegis of the Education Department for the conduct of Kalolsavam and School Athletics competitions in the state. Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI) sends circulars to the DDEs, AEOs and heads of schools below them, to collect fees for the conduct of kalolsavam and school athletics competitions.
The latest circular issued from the DPI’s office on June 6, 2014, for the conduct of the school kalolsavam and athletics competitions for the ongoing academic year, clearly stated that a donation of `Five should be collected from students of class five to eight and a Kalolsavam fund of `two and donation of `five (total: `7) should be collected from students of class IX and X.