The State government’s reported move to sanction new Plus Two schools and additional batches in existing schools in the unaided sector has drawn from flak from various quarters including the Congress- supported Aided Higher Secondary Teachers’ Association (AHSTA).
The proposal comes at a time when thousands of seats remain vacant even after four supplementary allocations. Only Malappuram district in north Kerala requires new Plus Two batches. The government needs to conduct a proper study and have a scientific approach to the issue, T. Prasannakumar, president, ASHTA president says.
This year 4,51,139 students passed the SSLC examination. But as many as 4,60,154 higher secondary seats and 32,970 vocational higher secondary seats were available for them in the academic year.
Incidentally, 4,09,475 students availed of admission out of the 4,95,378 applicants in 1,822 Plus Two schools in 2012-13. Another 28,493 obtained admission in vocational higher secondary school.
The number of students who passed SSLC examination was 4,48,00 in 2013 and 50,679 Plus Two seats remained vacant the previous year even after the allotment of seats via single window system under merit, management and unaided categories.
“Thus several schools lost existing batches owing to shortage of students. At this juncture no regions really needs new schools and batches,” he says.
Already the Kerala School Teachers Association (KSTA) and Kerala Aided Higher Secondary Teachers Association have expressed concern over the move to sanction new schools in the State.
Statistics with the Director of Public Instruction (DPI) reveal that 61 Plus Two batches will be excess in Pathanamthitta even if all Class X students in that district pass the SSLC examinations in 2014 and 71 batches excess in 2015.
The excess Plus Two batches in 2016 in Pathanamthitta will be 109, Alappuzha (18), Kottayam (52).
Similarly in 2017 it will be in Kollam, 45; Pathanamthitta, 132, Alappuzha, 56, Kottayam, 82. By 2018, Kollam will have excess batches of 87, Pathanamthitta, 149, Alappuzha, 93, Kottayam, 105, Idukki, 28, Ernakulam, 92. And in 2019, the situation will be worse – Thiruvananthapuram will have surplus batches of 48, Kollam, 148, Pathanamthitta, 165, Alappuzha, 125, Kottayam, 127, Idukki, 47 , Ernakulam, 131 and Thrissur, 4.
Mr. Prasannakumar says that the State will experience a shortage of students in schools with each passing year. If 4,66,875 students appear for SSLC examinations in 2014, the number will be 2,95,514 in 2022. “Consequently 5,000 posts of teachers will become redundant. This is when the existing Plus One seats are 3,35,400, ” he adds.
If sanction for 148 schools are accorded there will be an additional 14,800 seats and if 365 new batches are started there will be 18,240 extra seats.
If new schools and batches are started from 2014, the State will have an excess of 100 batches and 50 schools will also become uneconomical.
As many as 5,012 teachers will lose their jobs, Mr. Prasannakumar says.