In a recent development, all nine examination boards in Punjab, including the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Rawalpindi (BISE), have implemented a fee hike for the annual matric examinations scheduled to begin on March 1, 2024.
The revised fee structure, effective immediately, reveals an increase in the matric certificate fee from Rs550 to Rs700. Additionally, students now required to pay supplementary charges for the development fund (Rs200), scholarship fund (Rs80), sports fee (Rs100), and an elevated processing fee for the admission form (Rs530), in addition to the base fee.
The admission form fee has also raised to Rs100. For regular science group students in classes 9th and 10th, the fee set at Rs1,400, while arts group students with practicals will also pay Rs1,400. General group students will incur a charge of Rs1,300. Private students face varying fees: Rs1,500 for the science group, Rs1,500 for the arts group with practicals, and Rs1,400 for the general group.
Consequently, the total admission fee for regular science group students will be Rs3,110, mirroring the total fee for regular arts group students, including practicals. Regular arts group students will pay a total admission fee of Rs3,010. Private science group students will incur a total admission fee of Rs3,210, private arts group students with practicals will pay Rs3,210, and private arts group students will have a total fee of Rs3,110.
The official notification states that the deadline for admission with a single fee is from November 15 to December 12, with double fees applicable from December 13 to December 26. The last date for submission of admission with triple fees is from December 27 to January 3.
This sudden fee hike has met with resistance from parents and school associations, who are urging authorities to reconsider and provide relief to the affected students and their families. The move has sparked a debate on the affordability of education and the impact of such decisions on the accessibility of quality education for all.