Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is planning to start additional Plus-One batches on a temporary basis to find a way to accommodate the record number of students who had passed the Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) examination this time with very high marks.
Discussions are going on at the Chief Minister's level to take an appropriate decision on sanctioning additional batches in the districts where there are more students who have not got admission for Plus-One after two allotments, reliable sources stated.
The State Government is also awaiting the report of the Finance Ministry with regard to the extent of the financial burden the new decision would cause on the state exchequer.
The Government's plan for starting additional batches came in the wake of the reports that the students, who got even full A+ in the SSLC examinations, were not getting Plus-One admission.
The Opposition UDF had raised the issue in the State Assembly. The parents have also raised the issue on the Facebook page of Education Minister V Sivankutty.
The main complaint of students and parents is that the students having full A+ are not getting admission to schools and courses of their choice.
But, according to the General Education Department, there is no need for starting permanent additional batches as the number of students seeking Plus-One admission in the state have come down.
The UDF Government in 2012 sanctioned additional temporary batches when there was an increase in the number of applicants for Plus-One admission.
About 40 Plus-One batches were started then in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram districts. From 2013, no new batches were sanctioned.
Meanwhile, the Education Minister said the government would find a solution to end the shortage of Plus-One seats by the time the supplementary list for admission is published.
He admitted that at present there was some difficulty for students in getting admission in their nearby schools. While saying that the government was not to be blamed for the present plight, he said the State Government did not dole out any extra marks for around 1.5 lakh students, who got full A+.
Midday meal scheme to be resumed
Midday meals distribution in government and aided schools would restart once the schools reopen on November 1. Authorities are expected to make arrangements for the same with the help of the people's forums in the locality and the Parent-Teacher Association.
Moreover, schools will function on those Saturdays when there are no holidays.
The Minister said that about 68.19 per cent of teachers in the state have so far taken two rounds of vaccines. Nearly 23.86 lakh teachers have already taken a single dose of vaccine. Among non-teaching staff, these figures are 65.52 per cent and 24.42 respectively.
Fitness certificates for schools, buses
Only those schools having fitness certificates will be allowed to reopen. In case of denial of fitness certificates for a particular school, students will be accommodated in the nearest school.
The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) officials would visit schools before October 20 and check the fitness of school buses and sanction fitness certificates accordingly.
All schools will be ready with a dedicated helpline and a sickroom. The service of a doctor at the school will be ensured.
Online classes to continue
Online classes and classes beamed on Victors Channel would be continued even after the reopening of schools in Kerala.
A new academic calendar and academic approach would be implemented for those classes which began during COVID-19 times.
Replying to a question raised by Pramod Narayanan MLA, the Minister said that discussions in this regard were on with the Victors Channel, the State Council of Education and Research Training (SCERT) and the Samagra Shiksha Kerala (SSK).