KERALA

Kollam KV faces uncertainty

Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) in Kollam, which has just seven classrooms for its 473 students up to class 9, is functioning without a proper building.

While two of the classrooms are in a block of Kollam West Higher Secondary School, five classrooms function from a rescue shed of the district administration that operates as a relief camp in case of a natural calamity. When the shed operates as a relief camp, an indefinite holiday is declared for the school.

The school has no science lab, library, or resource rooms. The staff room is a shanty.

Though the Kollam city Corporation had acquired four acres of private land at Ramankulangara in the city in 2010 at a cost of Rs.1.35 crore for the school to have its own complex, technical aspects have prevented the project from making any headway.

Students, parents, and the 17 teachers at the school fear that the KV Sangathan, the organisation that administers the KVs, may decide to close down the Kollam school if the various issues are not sorted out by March this year. In the current situation, the KV Sangathan will find it hard to start class 10 in the coming academic year and the higher secondary course in 2013.

The organisation had taken steps to close down the school earlier in 2009, but had dropped the move following assurances from the Parent-Teacher Association of the school, district administration, and city Corporation that land would be provided to the school.

Under a law enacted in Parliament, the KV Sangathan can enter into a lease agreement only with the district administration, with the latter acting as the sponsoring agency of a KV and not the local administration.

However, in Kollam, the city Corporation is the sponsoring agency of the KV as the Corporation had acquired the land for the school, and the Corporation secretary is the custodian of that land.

Problems

The first hurdle cropped up when the Corporation, by virtue of acquiring the land and being its custodian, demanded that admission to 25 per cent of the seats be allocated to it. This was rejected by the KV Sangathan because only the respective MP and the District Collector have been allocated two seats each under the rules. The remaining seats have to be filled through a common entrance examination.

The other issue was over entering into the lease agreement vis-à-vis the land.

Though the city Corporation gave up its demand for 25 per cent of the seats and formally informed the KV Sangathan about it, the latter said the lease agreement could be effected only if the District Collector formally acquired the land from the city Corporation. The Corporation is yet to reply to the KV Sangathan.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the Corporation Council is likely to take a crucial decision on the issue this week.

The KV Sangathan has already made a fund allocation of Rs. 4 crore for constructing the Kollam school complex, and a plan has been prepared by the Central Public Works Department. If the District Collector is not able to acquire the land from the city Corporation, the allocation may lapse, it is feared.