'Pay up or go home'
The Matruchhaya High School in Dahisar asked students to pay Rs 350 extra for their National Institute of Open Schooling 10th board exams, failing which they have to get their own computers or head home
Almost 50 students, who will appear for their National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) 10th board exams on May 3 and 4 at Matruchhaya High School in Dahisar, had to shell out Rs 350 to the authorities last week. The students were compelled to pay the money after authorities threatened that if they failed to do so, then would have to arrange for their own computers to appear for the word processing and data entry operations exam.
After collecting the money, the authorities gave the parents unofficial receipts (copy with MiD DAY) only when the latter demanded them. However, when some parents enquired with NIOS board, they were told that they needn’t pay for any practical exams and their complaint will be noted. Rakesh Malik, a student appearing for the exam, said, “After paying the money, we were given an unofficial receipt from the school where there was only a school stamp. In some receipts, the amount wasn’t even mentioned.”
However, when contacted, Smita Shenoy, supervisor of Lexicon Global School and Matruchchaya College of Science and Commerce, had a different story to tell. She explained, “We have just 10 computers in the Lexicon school computer lab and 50 computers in the information technology lab of our college but we cannot use them. We will provide computers only to those students who have paid the money. Since NIOS board paid us only Rs 15 for each computer, we couldn’t arrange more machines and had to ask the parents to pay.” Despite repeated attempts, Sanjay Sinha, regional director, NIOS, was unavailable for comment.