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Odisha school found guilty of collecting fees

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Aska, July 5:

Students and guardians of Aska Government Girls’ High School in Odisha’s Ganjam district today complained that school authorities had been collecting Rs 180 as joining fees per annum from each student.

The complaints poured in during an on-the-spot inquiry conducted by Additional District Education Officer (ADEO), Binita Senapati into allegation of collection of fines from students of class VI, VII and VIII at the school here today.

Senapati visited the Aska Government Girls’ High School here and held an emergency meeting of students and their guardians to find out the truth about the allegation.

Senapati said she would report the matter to her higher authorities.

The school and mass education department had ordered the inquiry after allegations surfaced about the collection fees in the school.

Collection of fees from students, it may be noted, is forbidden as per the provisions of Sarva Sikhsya Abhiyan.

The school has 56 students in class VI, 46 in class VII and 61 in class VIII on its rolls.

It may be noted here that the school had hogged media headlines recently following the suicide of a class VII student Jayanti Nayak alias Banita, who doused herself with kerosene before setting herself ablaze after her poor parents failed to provide her with Rs 10 to buy basic stationery like pencils and notebooks.

After the shocking incident led to public outrage, Ganjam collector Prem Chandra Choudhury ordered fan administrative inquiry into the incident.

During the inquiry, it was also revealed that ST/SC students of the school were not provided with government stipend for two years. Guardians had then alleged that fees were also being collected from the students under different pretexts.