It’s a technical error; 1.24 lakh students are not entirely casteless, non-religious in Kerala

A day after the Education Minister said that around 1.24 lakh students in Kerala have not declared their religion in their school admission forms, it has been revealed the data is incomplete.

Published: 30th March 2018 01:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2018 11:05 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose. (Express File Photo)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: Call it over enthusiasm or a case of misinterpretation. A day after the much celebrated announcement by Education Minister C Raveendranath on the floor of the Assembly that around 1.24 lakh students in the state have not declared their religion in their school admission forms, it has been revealed the data has been sourced from incomplete information uploaded by the schools.

According to Director of Public Instruction (DPI) K V Mohandas, the details of students admitted to schools are uploaded on the Education Department’s website using the ‘Sampoorna’ school management software.

READ HERE | Kerala government goofed up with 'no religion' figures

“It is not mandatory to fill up the columns declaring religion and caste in the application form for Class I admission. The department has sourced the data from the information entered by schools on the website. Teachers might have filled only the mandatory columns while entering the students’ details,” he said.

The ‘Sampoorna’ software has two types of forms to fill in student details. The entry form for Class I students has 59 columns while the form for admitting students to other classes on the basis of transfer certificate (TC) has 65 columns. Among the 59 columns for Class I admission, only 25 columns are mandatory.

While it is mandatory to fill the column regarding the name of the guardian, it is not compulsory to enter the names of father and mother. Likewise, though there are columns to enter the religion and caste of the student, they are not mandatory. As the schools have to furnish the details of students by the sixth working day, the teachers and school staff will rush the details filling only the mandatory columns, Kerala Pradesh

School Teachers’ Association (KPSTA) state vice president V K Ajith Kumar told Express. “There are many schools in the state functioning without computer and internet facility. The school headmaster might approach an internet cafe to enter the details of the students. The Minister might have presented the data before the Assembly without knowing the fact it is sourced from incomplete data. Maybe, someone who provided the data was enthusiastic to prove Kerala is growing non-religious. But that is inaccurate.

For example, 46 students studying at Tanur Cheerankadappuram AMLPS have been listed as non-religious. But most of the students studying in this school belong to the Muslim community and they are very religious. The same is the case of Tanur Govt UPS where 126 students have been listed as non-religious,” said Ajith Kumar.

School rejects Edu Min’s ‘no religion, caste’ claim

Malappuram: A day after Education Minister C Raveendranath told the Assembly as many as 1.24 lakh school students had not mentioned their religion or caste while seeking admissions, a school in the district rejected his claim, at least partially. The authorities of Al-Hidayath English Medium School at Kondotty said technical errors may have driven the minister towards making the statement. 

“It is true we found 921 Muslim students left their caste column blank in the admission forms for out school. But all of them, did fill ‘Islam’ in the religion column and ‘OBC’ in the category column. “The school employees found the caste column was not mandatory while uploading data on the Education Department. Hence, they opted not to enter any data while uploading the details of some students. But they did fill the column for religion and category,” said secretary of the school Beerankutty Haji.



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