'Shortage of Plus-II Seats in Malabar a Myth' - The New Indian Express

'Shortage of Plus-II Seats in Malabar a Myth'

Published: 18th April 2014 11:01 AM

Last Updated: 18th April 2014 11:02 AM

The government has often claimed that acute shortage of Plus-Two seats in Malabar region was one of the reasons that prompted it go ahead with the creation of over 34,000 additional Plus-Two seats.

However, statistics accessed through Right to Information (RTI) has revealed just the opposite.

According to information furnished by the Directorate of Higher Secondary Education under the RTI, Malappuram district had the maximum number of vacant Plus-Two seats  - 4,762 - in the 2013-14 academic year.

Even if only vacant merit seats were considered, the northern districts of Kasargod and Kannur topped the chart.

While Kasargod reported 459 vacant Plus-Two seats, there were no takers for 404 Plus-Two merit seats in Kannur.

“These statistics clearly prove the claim of imbalance of Plus-Two seats in Malabar is a myth. Though the government says that first preference will be given to the upgradation of state-run high schools into higher secondary, we suspect that most of these new Plus-Two  batches will land in the kitty of private managements,’’ said S Manoj, state secretary of Aided Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association.

The government recently won a favourable verdict from the High Court which okayed its decision to set up around 680 new Plus-Two batches.

These includes 148 panchayats which did not have a Higher Secondary School and also new additional batches, mostly in Malabar region.

The government’s move to sanction additional Plus-Two batches also comes at a time when the number of SSLC pass-outs dropped by over 13,000 this year when compared to the previous year.

While 4.51 lakh students cleared the SSLC exam in 2013, the number decreased to 4.42 lakh this year. This despite the pass percentage increasing by 1.3 per cent.

“Yes. There is shortage of seats in some areas, but setting up Plus-Two schools in places where there are no such schools is the government’s policy which even the court has found reasonable,’’ Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb told ‘Express’.  Interestingly, while 5.11 lakh candidates applied for Higher Secondary courses last year, only 3.56 lakh actually took admission to 3.81 lakh seats, leaving over 25,000 seats vacant.

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