Keeping in view the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihood of the people across Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced that the state government will not charge any fee from students appearing in the Matric examination.
Patnaik decided to waive the fees for the annual examination, conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, in the greater interest of the students.
The matriculation exam is scheduled to begin in the state from May 3 this year.
“The state government will bear Rs 27 crore on this account and more than 6 lakh students will be benefited”, the chief minister said in a statement.
Every candidate appearing in the annual high school certificate examination was supposed to pay Rs 420 for filling up the forms.
Patnaik said the education sector is one the worst sufferer of the pandemic as the students could not attend classes for nine long months which has affected their studies.
“No student will be denied opportunity to appear in the annual board examination for class 10th due to financial constraints,” Patnaik said.
The state government keeping in view the decline in the report of new COVID-19 cases in Odisha, has reopened schools for the final year students of Standard X and XII from January 8.
Ruling BJDs students wing state president Debi Ranjan Tripathy, earlier in the day had requested the chief minister to consider waiving the examination fee.
Tripathy said most of the class 10th students are not in a position to pay the fee while filling up the form to appear in the matriculation examination due to the pandemic situation.
Earlier, the Odisha government had made arrangements for free transportation and accommodation for the students appearing in NEET, JEE exams in the state late last year in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The government had provided buses to ferry NEET and JEE exams students from their home town to the designated test venues in September last year.
It had also requested the East Coast Railway, having its headquarters at Bhubaneswar, to run special trains for the NEET aspirants to go to different parts of the state.