THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Exposing the government’s lack of foresight in the sanctioning of new Higher Secondary batches, statistics reveal that despite sanctioning 158 new batches in northern districts, there are still no takers for over 12,000 Plus-I seats.
Rapped on the knuckles by the High Court, the government had recently scaled down the number of newly-sanctioned Plus-I batches from 700 to 415. Of these, 158 were included in the ongoing single window admission process, adding close to 6,000 new Plus-I seats.
However, these new seats have only served to increase the number of already vacant seats, according to the statistics available after the completion of the third supplementary allotment. What is ironic is that even before adding these additional seats, hundreds of seats remained vacant.
“This exposes the fact that the sanctioning of new Plus-I batches was not done after study of the actual requirerent. These vacant seats also reveal that the benefit has not reached those students who actually needed it,” said S Manoj, general secretary of Aided Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association.
However, officials of the Higher Secondary Directorate said that the number may come down after an additional allotment. “Most of the vacant seats are in schools located in inaccessible areas or where the required course combination is not available,” a senior official said. Admission to the remaining 257 newly-sanctioned batches will begin from Monday. “These, however, have not been included in the single-window admission process and will be held directly,” the official said.
The statistics also reveal that one Higher Secondary batch each in 13 schools in the state have become ‘uneconomic’.
This means that such schools cannot ensure the minimum requirement of 25 students in a batch. It also implies that at least three teachers’ posts in each school will be under threat. Contrary to the popular perception, a majority of the ‘uneconomic batches’ (with very few takers) are those offering science courses with the physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics combination.