KOZHIKODE: A few days back, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had expressed concern over the increasing number of Kerala students opting to study outside the state, particularly Delhi University (DU) and University of Hyderabad (UOH).
The pace at which Malayali students are going out for undergraduate courses is evident from a single school located in the rural heartland of Kozhikode -- Chennamangallur HSS (CHSS). A whopping 21 students, including 10 girls, from this government aided school had secured admission in various colleges in DU this year, besides another one at Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Quality education, esteemed faculty, stress on research, national exposure and the chance for cultural exploration woo the students to DU, especially humanities students.
"I have joined for BA English (Honours) at Miranda House. The honours course is rare in our state. Further, I am excited to be in a high-calibre academic world. Studying in a central university where students from across the country converge is another major attraction," said Misa Fadiya, passed out from CHSS this year.
K Favas, who had secured first rank in the general category (BA Hon. History) and fourth rank in the BA Economics (OBC category) entrance examinations of Jamia said, "I opted to got to New Delhi to have a high-quality education plus new experiences by living amid people from diverse backgrounds."
His classmate Nahala PK echos the same. "The quality of education does matter a lot. I am keen to explore New Delhi as a metropolitan city and the citadel of history," she told The New Indian Express. And unlike in the past, parents are more willing these days to send their wards to far-off places for studies.
"Our state has no sufficient opportunities in the higher education sector. Students should imbibe a global perspective and understanding," observed Muhammed Musthafa, father of Favas. Another student, who did not want to be named said the quality of education and faculty has touched the rock bottom in Kerala. "Can we expect the results of any exam on time? Have there been any faculty appointment in our universities and colleges devoid of allegations of malpractice and nepotism?" he asked.
Delhi University assistant professor and Nadapuram native PK Yasser Arafath observed that besides the exposure, teaching expertise is a major factor which drives the students out of the state. "Faculty members are highly research oriented in DU and UOH. Another major reason is that Humanities are treated as dead in Kerala," Arafath, who went to UOH to do his master's in 2000, said.
"If a student needs a renowned professor's name to mention for reference in his or her application to pursue a master's or PhD abroad, how many faculty members in Kerala universities will fit the bill? Kerala is at least 25 years back in higher education," said another teacher in a DU college who wished anonymity.
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