THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Flaying the government for its alleged failure in ensuring an adequate number of Plus-I seats for students who have passed the SSLC examination, the Opposition UDF walked out of the assembly when it reconvened for the third session on Monday, October 4, 2021. Shafi Parambil of the Congress, who gave notice for an adjournment motion to discuss the issue, assailed the government for citing financial constraints as the reason for not sanctioning additional Plus-I batches. He urged the government not to make children, especially those hailing from poor families, suffer due to seat shortage.
Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan assailed General Education Minister V Sivankutty for his earlier statement that seats in the unaided sector would be increased to address the shortage. “The government’s much-touted General Education Protection Campaign was meant for strengthening schools in the public sector. Now the government is pushing students from struggling families to unaided schools that are demanding huge donations for Plus-I seats,” he said.
Satheesan reminded the government about the HC directive not to cram more than 50 students in a classroom. He said the 20 per cent hike in Plus-I seats in schools in north Kerala without a proportional improvement in infrastructure could be challenged in court.
The government found itself on a tight spot when CPM’s K K Shailaja too raised the Plus-I seat shortage through a calling attention motion and urged the government to resolve the issues faced by the students. The Opposition used this to embarrass the government and said even a former minister of the ruling party was concerned about the sorry state of affairs regarding Plus-I admission.
General Education Minister V Sivankutty assured the assembly that all Plus-one applicants will get admission once the second allotment is completed towards the end of this month. He added that seats in various reservation categories that lay vacant after the first allotment will be converted into merit seats.