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Plus Two woes of Malabar schools continue this year too

North Kerala districts have shortage of seats in Plus One, vocational higher secondary courses

Kannur district recorded the highest pass percentage of 99.85 and Malappuram district had the highest number of students with ‘A’ plus in all subjects (7,838) when Class X results were declared recently. But many who cleared the exam from the Malabar region may not get a chance for higher studies this year too.

All the districts in the region have a shortage of seats in Plus One and vocational higher secondary courses as well as in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) and polytechnic institutes.

According to the data published by Malabar Education Movement, a non-governmental organisation, Malappuram district has a shortage of 28,804 seats. Though 75,554 students cleared the SSLC exams this year, only 46,750 seats are available for higher studies there. As many as 38,518 students are eligible to pursue higher studies in Palakkad, but only 28,823 seats are available. The data for other districts are as follows: Kozhikode 44,430, and 34,917; Kannur 11,518, and 9,714; Wayanad 34,481, and 29,811, and Kasaragod 19,287, and 15,935. Thrissur district too is short of 830 seats.

However, all the districts in south and central Kerala have excess seats available with Pathanamthitta topping the chart. As many as 10,341 students cleared the exams this year there and 16,471 seats are available for higher studies.

A functionary of a teachers’ organisation from Kozhikode said the disparity had been there for long. He claimed that the number of students in each batch in higher secondary schools in Malabar was higher too compared with southern and central districts. If the schools in northern districts have 60 or more students in each class, those in other parts of the State have 30-35 students only, he said.

“The government announced five ITIs last year, but only one was set aside for Malappuram. The highest number of students who joined the open school system last time was from there too,” said a government school teacher, who did not wish to be named.

The NGO has sought transfer of excess seats from the southern districts to Malabar to sort out the problem. P.V. Muhammed Kutty, general convener of the movement, also urged the government to upgrade at least 20 government high schools in Malappuram district and allocate more Plus Two batches in other schools.

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