Only 1,782 applicants would be taking the Punjab School Education Board’s (PSEB) Golden Chance exam to clear class X and XII. This is not even half of the 4,000 who had applied online for the exam, being held as the part of 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. The Rs 15,000 fee seems to have acted as a deterrent for many aspirants.
The PSEB on August 16 had issued a public notice giving a chance to old candidates (since 2004) to clear their ‘re-appear’ result for classes X and XII and sit for the 'Supplementary Golden Chance Exam’ after paying Rs 15,000 as fee.
Hoping to make a windfall, the PSEB had twice extended the deadline - last being September 23 - to deposit the fee.
JR Mehrok, controller examinations, PSEB, told The Indian Express that 822 applicants will sit for class X exam and 960 for class XII. “We received more than 4,000 online applications but only 1,782 deposited the fee and are eligible to sit in the exam,” he said.
Asked if hefty fee has proved to be a roadblock for financially weaker students, he said, “No, fee amount is not an issue, syllabus is. Exams will be based on 2018-19 syllabus and that is the major roadblock”.
The exams will be held from October 22 to November 4, he added.
Not a ‘Golden Chance’ for all
For a majority of students, the ‘Golden Chance Exam’ isn’t that ‘golden’, courtesy the hefty Rs 15,000 fee. Gurmeet Kaur (31), a part-time sweeper at government high school in Dhulkot of Ludhiana, said that she couldn’t deposit the fee for her daughter Manjit Kaur (18) who got ‘re-appear’ in mathematics in class 12 in 2018. “Earlier, the fee for re-appear exam was Rs 1,050 but my daughter could not clear it despite taking tuition. I earn Rs 4,000 a month and my husband is a laborer. I cannot pay Rs 15,000 for one Golden Chance. It is not a Golden Chance for poor people. Guru Nanak always thought of poor first,” she said.