THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:As admissions to the state higher secondary course begin on Tuesday, three additional batches in two aided schools - the sanctioning of which was struck down by the court - have mysteriously their found their way into the single window online admission process.
An investigation by ‘Express’ found that the additional batches that made it into the single window system were: one Commerce and Humanities batch each in CMM HSS Thalakalathur and one Humanities batch in CM HSS Mannur - both in Kozhikode. This has raised serious doubts over the transparency of the admission process, as authorities are clueless as to how close to 100 seats in three batches have crept in. The sanctioning of additional Plus-One batches had landed in a controversy last year after a Cabinet sub-committee arbitrarily cleared 700 batches across the state, sidelining the proposal of the Director of Higher Secondary Education to sanction 640 batches.
This was challenged in the Kerala High Court, which ruled that only schools recommended by a six-member committee, headed by the Director of Higher Secondary Education, were eligible for starting Higher Secondary courses and additional batches for 2014-15 academic year. The order had resulted in loss of additional batches for many schools, including the two schools in question.
After the adverse verdict, the two schools, along with nine others, had approached the Supreme Court. Since the admission to additional batches had already been carried out, the apex court ruled that these batches could continue to function in an ‘unaided’ mode for the time being. The Court specifically stated that the Government would have no role in teachers’ appointment and that such batches cannot be considered as additionally-sanctioned batches in future.
“It is very mysterious how seats in these batches have found entry into the single window admission process. It is also not clear whether it was a deliberate act or a mistake. The move will affect the pace of the admission process as other schools are likely to challenge it in court,” said a top source adding that only a detailed probe could reveal if other schools too have been illegitimately included. Officials of the Higher Secondary Directorate were initially dismissive when the anomaly was brought to their notice but later reacted when the specific details were provided.
“We will examine how these batches have been included in the single window admission process. If any errors are detected, they will be rectified,” said P A Sajudeen, Joint Director (Academic), Higher Secondary Directorate.