Students of all OU affiliated colleges have to pay an exam fee of Rs 1,500 by June 10 towards exam fees, but the situation of many families is dire.

The Osmania University in HyderabadFile photo
Coronavirus Education Monday, May 25, 2020 - 10:25

“We receive messages daily from our college reminding us to pay the examination fee, but I cannot ask my parents for the money after seeing our financial situation,” says Vishal, a first-year degree student studying in Hyderabad.

Vishal studies in a college affiliated to Osmania University (OU) in Hyderabad, and has to pay Rs 1,500 towards exam fees by June 10.

Vishal’s father has a small-scale saree shop in Himayatnagar, which has been shut for the last two months because of the lockdown. “We don’t have any income. We don’t even have money to pay rent. How can I pay the exam fee?” he asks.

According to Vishal, he asked his college principal to defer the fee due to his family’s financial condition, but was told that the management said it was helpless as the fees would have to be paid to OU directly and not to the college.

Vishal’s is not an isolated case. Many students pursuing courses in government and private colleges in Telangana are in the same situation Vishal is in.

Nandini, a second-year degree student, says that her father is hospitalised due to chronic illness and her mother works in a garment store. Her mother is out of a job due to the lockdown, and now, they do not know how to pay the exam fee.

Students representatives from National Students Union of India (NSUI) requested the Telangana State Council for Higher Education (TSCHE) on May 20 to waive off the examination fee, but the council has not responded so far.

"Unlike engineering and other technical courses, a non-technical degree is mostly chosen by students who are from the lower-income groups of the society. The examination fee is an additional burden on the students who hail from families who are not financially well-off, especially during tough times like the pandemic,” says M A Moheed, vice president, Greater Hyderabad, NSUI.

Several students are not in a position to pay this amount, as the income of their families is dependent on small scale business, odd jobs, or the breadwinners work as daily wage labourers.

When TNM reached out to Osmania University, an official said that the university is currently not in a position to even pay the salaries of employees, and are expecting to get some revenue from exam fees.

"There is nothing that the university can do in this regard. The government needs to come forward and help public universities with some funds," the official added.

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