Higher Education in trouble in Malabar, no seat for 70, 000 students in class XI

By Najiya O., TwoCircles.net,

Kochi: When lakhs go to 11th standard (10+2) tomorrow in Kerala, about 70, 000 students of Malabar in northern Kerala are left out in the dark. Not that they have not passed 10th standard, but there are no seats to accommodate them in schools in Malabar.

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This year, 45% of those students who have applied for admissions to +1 class won’t get a chance to join government or government-aided schools in Malabar. Even though the facts show a very big difference between the number of applicants and the number of seats available, the government has decided not to increase the number of seats.

The problem of unavailability of seats hangs above Malabar even as seats lie vacant in the southern districts like Kottayam. The former governments allotted more seats to the southern districts than Malabar even though requirements had pointed otherwise. When the issue was brought to the notice of the Education Minister, he was of the view that any measure could be taken only once admission procedures were completed. His point was that the number of seats needed in Malabar and those lying vacant in southern districts would be clear only after admissions are done. However, the number of applicants and number of seats available is easily accessible.

There are only 90, 000 seats in science, humanities and commerce streams together in Malabar, which comprises of the districts of Kasargode, Kannur, Wayanadu, Kozhikode, Palakkad and Malappuram. Among the 1, 59,277 students who have applied for admissions to higher secondary, 69,177 will not get seats. The number of students mentioned here includes only those who have passed the SSLC (10th standard examination conducted by the state). Besides, there are also those who have passed the CBSE and THSLC. In addition, there are those who have passed the Save A Year Exam (compartment exams).

Muslims constitute roughly 30% of the population in Malabar region, with the community dominating Malappuram district.

Interestingly, the most affected with this problem is the Malappuram district itself, where there are only 26,351 seats but the number of applicants is 59,198. That means, 28,808 will not be able to join government and aided schools. This will only be helpful to the private schools and tuition centres that extract high fees and provide comparatively lesser quality of study facilities.

The government increases 10% seats in higher secondary every year. But this won’t be enough to solve the problem of Malabar. Allowing extra seats and batches seems the only way out.

Earlier, Malabar area was very backward in education. Now that the region is coming forward the unavailability of seats remains the problem. This is very well understood in the case of Malappuram district, where the winning percentage of students in 10th standard has really soared high in the recent years.

The education ministry has long been under ministers from the minority communities. When the United Democratic Front was in power the ministry was under the Muslim League. The present minister Mr MA Baby is from the CPI (M). However, the situation of education in Malabar remains the same, whoever comes to power.