Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday assured that no student in the state would be denied a chance to pursue higher secondary education due to a shortage of seats for plus one course in government and aided schools. However, he admitted that there was some disparity in the availability of seats in the state, especially in Malabar(north Kerala) region, where there is a dearth of the same.
“The government would adopt a practical solution to address the problem,” Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister said this in the state Assembly when the Congress-led UDF opposition raised concerns about non-availability of sufficient seats in government and aided higher secondary schools in northern districts. “The disparity in the availability of plus one seats has been an issue in northern districts for some years. The number of seats is high in some districts while it is not up to the demand in others,” he said.
But, the government would take all necessary steps to ensure that no child is denied higher secondary education due to the paucity of seats, he said.
Stating that a “practical solution” is the need of the hour to address the issue, Vijayan said action would be taken after knowing the number of seats that would fall vacant with the completion of the admission process. Education Minister C Raveendranath said the first allotment of seats for plus one students in government and aided schools began on Tuesday and they would get a clear picture only after the completion of the process on June 18.
Even though there were merits in the opposition demand for more seats in the Malabar region, he said the government would implement a “planned and scientific” solution after the allotment process is over.
“The total number of students qualified for the higher secondary course this year is 4.31 lakh. As per the present figures, the number of plus one seats available is 4.22 lakh,” he said.
“If we take into account the seats available in polytechnics and industrial training institutes (ITI) and other similar courses, the number of seats will nearly be the same or more than the demand,” the minister added.
Increasing the number of seats by counting the applicants would not be a scientific method, he said adding the re-arrangement of seats can be done as per the demand. The minister also assured that a scientific study would be carried out and necessary steps taken to rectify lapses in this regard from next academic year.
K N A Khader of IUML, who sought notice for the motion apprised the House about the anxiety of students and parents over the shortage of seats, while Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala sought immediate intervention of the Chief Minister to alleviate their concerns.