The hard lessons students face for Plus One admissions in Kerala

A different test: Authorities of Cotton Hill Girls Higher Secondary School in Thiruvananthapuram checking the credentials of students who appeared for Plus One admissions that commenced on Thursday   | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Rasheeda P.V. never had to worry about her daughter’s education. Today, though, she wonders which school her daughter will end up in for the Plus One higher secondary course.

The student from Kozhikode, who wants to pursue Science, has failed to receive allotment in the first list despite securing A+ in all subjects. She had applied to 11 schools. If the second allotment also draws a blank, says Rasheeda she will have to send her daughter to an unaided school.

With only 2,18,418 students of the 4,65,219 applicants getting allotment in the first round under the single window system, nearly 2.46 lakh students are staring at an uncertain future.

At a prominent school in Thiruvananthapuram, 485 students have secured full A+. With competition this tight, there is a mad scramble for community and management quota seats, with nearly 1,000 applications for management quota against the 140 seats.

School teachers familiar with the nitty-gritty of the allotment process say the fact that one in three students who passed SSLC has full A+ has complicated matters. Besides the maximum grade points, students studying in the Kerala stream get three bonus points. If taking admission in the same school, a student gets two bonus points, if it is the same panchayat or municipal body, two points; and if the same taluk, one point.

A student applying to a school in a local body other than the one they studied in loses two bonus points, which makes a huge difference in allotment. If they change both the school and the panchayat, they lose four points.

Students in the NCC, SPC, Scouts and Guides (winners of Rashtrapati or Rajya Puraskars) and those who know swimming also get two points. However, most students and parents do not know of these aspects well in advance of admission. Teacher says that how all four are clubbed together is unfathomable.

Also, while some students slog it out in SPC, NCC or Scouts and Guides, others get the two points for swimming the easy way without proper scrutiny.

A student who gets the Scouts and Guides Rashtrapati or Rajya Puraskar does not get any additional benefit from the swimming certificate submitted, since both carry the same points. However, in a tie, a student who submits the swimming certificate and who has participated in Scouts without getting the award will still hold the advantage because of the Scouts participation certificate.

School of choice

The allotment is riddled with many such anomalies, teachers say. Students no longer have the option of shifting to a school of their choice if there are seats vacant after the first two allotments. Instead, school transfers are now allowed after supplementary allotment. So a student who has taken admission to a school that was not in their first few options may remain stuck there, while a student who had not received allotment may still get a chance in the school of their choice in the wake of the supplementary allotment.

Such anomalies in the grading system will have serious consequences this year, say the teachers.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 9:59:49 AM |

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