Plus One admissions in Malabar: Need new batches instead of overcrowded classrooms

Police use water canon to disperse KSU activists who march to secretariat protesting over plus one seat shortage. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram; The key issue with regard to Plus One admissions in the Malabar districts is that students are experiencing a real shortage of seats in their preferred subjects and schools. Those protesting against the Plus One seat shortage in Malabar are demanding that authorities allot additional batches instead of merely increasing the number of seats, which leads to overcrowded classrooms. However, the government, which maintains that the number of seats available is well above the number of applicants, has yet to concede to this demand.

The government has expressed its willingness to slightly increase the seats in schools that have not yet utilized this option, if necessary. It stipulates allotting up to 30 percent additional seats per batch. Consequently, a plus one class initially designed for 50 students will accommodate 65 students. Despite complaints that this increase will affect the standard of education, the government has proceeded ahead with this marginal seat allocations wherever requested.

In response to a query by PK Kunhalikutty regarding the government's suggestion for students to join unaided schools if adequate seats are not available in government or aided sectors, Education Minister V Sivankutty stated in the assembly on Monday that of the 82,642 applicants in Malappuram, only 17,298 remain without a seat. Going further, he also resorted to the usual argument that there is no seat shortage if the 11,185 seats in unaided schools and those in ITIs and Polytechnics are considered.

Current admission status
Applicants in merit quota: 4, 21,661
Those admitted in the key phase of allotment: 2, 67,920
Those not taking admission despite receiving allotment: 77,997
Number of seats currently vacant: 41,222
Total number of students who have taken admission, including those under Management, Community, and unaided quotas: 3.25 lakh

Plus one classes begin in state
Even as the controversy over the shortage of seats in Malabar continues to rage, Plus One classes commenced in the state on Monday. Approximately 3.46 lakh students in Higher Secondary and Vocational Higher Secondary segments attended classes on the first day. To mark the occasion, Education Minister V. Sivankutty visited Cotton Hill Girls Higher Secondary School and welcomed the new students. The minister assured that students still awaiting seats will be accommodated during the supplementary phase of allotment.

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