Representative Image / Photo: S Sreekesh TVM
Kozhikode: The students awaiting admission to Plus 1 expect the Kerala government to incorporate additional batches in schools of the Malabar districts.
Earlier, the state government constituted a five-member committee to study the issue faced due to the shortage of Plus One higher secondary batches. The committee examined the need to provide additional batches and its reorganisation. Following this, the committee recommended the government to introduce 150 additional batches in the Malabar region.
However, it is still unclear how the government would reorganise Plus One higher secondary batches where student numbers are low. The committee had recommended shifting batches with fewer students in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Alappuzha districts to schools in Northern districts in Kerala. Further, the committee also recommended the reorganisation of batches within the district itself.
For several years, the shortage of seats in Plus 1 batch has become a persistent issue in schools in Northern districts of Kerala. To overcome this, the government constituted a five-member committee to study the issue. However, the government fears that shifting batches would face strong opposition from various organisations, including local leaders and teachers' organisations.
It is worth noting that there was a shortage of 25,045 seats in the past academic year in schools from Kasaragod to Palakkad districts. In the past year, 2,26,930 students passed the SSLC exam in Malabar districts. However, only 2,01,885 seats were available at government schools in Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode Wayanad, Malappuram and Palakkad districts. Despite the government pushing hard by granting additional seats, there was still a shortage of 20,170 seats. The government, however, later clarified that there were seats remaining unfilled in the state. General education minister V Sivankutty said not all students opt for Plus One as some go for polytechnic courses after SSLC.
At the same time, batches became more crowded as student numbers increased from 50 to 65 or 70. Due to this, the schools struggled to accommodate students and provide facilities adequately, in addition to facing a shortage of teachers.