A. D. Rangarajan

Section of lecturers suspects weakening of State-run colleges, while others welcome the concept

Poor students who scored more than 500 marks to be handpicked

District administration to finance their studies in corporate colleges

TIRUPATI: ‘Prajvalika’, the novel name coined by Collector M. Ravichandra for his pet scheme aimed at extending corporate education to the poor Intermediate students has raised many an eyebrow.

The academic fraternity is virtually divided over the idea, as one section feels it is a well-intended intervention by the district administration to reach out to the poor, while the other sees a conspiracy to weaken the State-run educational system.

The idea was to handpick students who have secured more than 500 marks in the SSC examinations and help them join corporate junior colleges by providing financial assistance.

More than a 1000 students have already been identified in the district and they are being admitted into the corporate colleges.

The students were overwhelmed on finding themselves getting ready to take corporate education, while their parents had no words for the gesture.

A section of lecturers feels that the noble idea had to be welcomed with open hands and not viewed with suspicion. “The Government Junior Colleges (GJCs) definitely lag behind in terms of time schedule, medium of instruction, infrastructure and hence should not view themselves on a par with the latter,” is the view commonly making rounds in the official and corporate college circles.

Poorer results

However, the GJCs are in no mood to buy this argument. The academicians are of the view that the admission of meritorious students into corporate colleges would leave them with the chaff i.e., average and below average students, which could further push their results southwards.

Even at the coordination meeting held by the district Collector last month, the president of Chittoor District Junior Lecturers Association V. Ravi expressed the view that the scheme would definitely damage the spirit of State-sponsored education and the colleges, which were already on the verge of extinction, would be forced to shut down. He pointed out that the GJCs had recorded a 14 p.c. improvement in results in 2006-07 against the 7 p.c. by the corporate sector.

Social responsibility

“Cutting a day’s salary from us to pool up resources for paying fee to the corporate colleges is like robbing Peter to pay Paul,” a GJC lecturer rues.

Further, the State-run colleges never cared for profit and hence launched midday meal, enrolment drives and awareness programmes in the nearby villages as part of their social responsibility, he added.

At last, the GJCs have one reason to heave a sigh of relief. As ‘Prajvalika’ is targeted only at meritorious students (above 500 marks), who in any way would prefer to join corporate colleges, the colleges need not fear a sudden dip in their enrolment. By taking up the average students into their fold and moulding them into better citizens, the GJCs can impress the officials and the parents as well.