Dr. G.P.C. Nayar, president, Kerala Self-Financing Engineering College Managements’ Association reacts to Prof. R.V.G. Menon’s views on private institutions.

In the EducationPlus interview published on August 18, Mr. R.V.G. Menon says the performance of self-financing colleges is poor in terms of examination results.

However, he glosses over the fact that the low fees in government and aided colleges and government- sponsored self-financing colleges attract all the brilliant students.

Only those who cannot get into the low-fee colleges will seek admission in private self-financing colleges.

Quality coaching

It is the quality coaching in the self-financing colleges that helps the students get through the examination. Forty per cent pass in the university examinations is a great achievement in such a context.

Nearly 93,000 students appeared for the engineering entrance examinations held by the State government this year, of which 30,000 did not make it to the rank list.

All the engineering colleges in Kerala put together have only about 28,800 seats. So, 33,200 students have to look to colleges in other States.

In the year 2003 the foreign exchange remittances to Kerala (from expatriates in the Gulf countries) was estimated at Rs.18,465 crore.

Remittances

By 2008 it rose to Rs.43,288 crore. Students of private self-financing professional colleges played a significant role in this rise, which in turn brought prosperity to Kerala.

The self-financing colleges in Kerala have invested Rs.4,500 crore over the last eight years, provided permanent employment to 1,10,000 educated youngsters and indirect employment to nearly 75,000.

They brought professional education to even the remote villages of Kerala and created awareness among even village residents about the need to provide professional education to their children.

Mr. Menon has failed to perceive this silent social revolution that triggered economic growth and social development unparalleled in the history of Kerala. Most of the colleges offer scholarships to 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the students apart from admitting 10 per cent students on ‘fee waiver scheme’ of the AICTE.

The government makes a surplus of nearly Rs.12 crore every year from the entrance examinations. Why cannot this money go as scholarships to deserving students? Why does the government give seats to the rich and also subsidise their education?

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