“Currently, we charge Rs 37 as exam and form fee from students of open category. We had proposed that fee should be revised to Rs 60 per student,” MSCE Commissioner Mahaveer Mane said.
School management officials did not object to the hike, as the amount is nominal, and they want the MSCE to simultaneously increase the scholarship amount believing it will attract students from English medium schools to take these school-level competitive exams.
At present, Std IV students get Rs 100 and students of Std VII get Rs 150 per month as scholarship. But school management officials were unhappy with the amount and expected a handsome rise instead.
The MSCE had recently forwarded the fee hike proposal to the state, following which its officials gave consent in a Government Resolution (GR) that was issued recently. Every year about nine lakh students from Std IV and eight lakh students of Std VII appear for scholarship exams.
Of these, about two per cent students, who top the exam, become eligible for a monthly scholarship that continues for the next three academic years.
“As the fee for scholarship exam is very nominal, parents will not complain about the hike. But I certainly expect the MSCE to increase the amount of scholarship to a level that students feel that they are being getting rewarded for securing top position in the exam,” Principal of Sheth Dagduram Kataria High School Deepti Chivate said.
“If we go by statistics, the percentage of students from English medium schools appearing and securing top position in these exams is very low. One of the reasons is definitely the scholarship amount.”
A school principal, requesting anonymity, said the MSCE solely focuses only on students from Marathi medium. “That’s why several English medium schools are not even aware about any such state-level exams,” the principal said.
Commenting on the demand made by several school managements, Mane said, “We increased the scholarship amount last year from Rs 50 to 100 for Std IV and Rs 100 to 150 for Std VII. So right now, we don’t have any plans to increase it further. In addition, we allow students from CBSE and ICSE boards to appear for the exam and issue them marksheets. The only thing they can’t do is avail scholarship, as it is limited to students of the state board.”