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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The record pass rate on the SSLC exam this year would of course justify a proportional increase in the number of higher secondary seats across the state. However, scientists have indicated that the annual practice of a small increase in Plus-I seats by 20% nationwide is not a solution to this problem, as the demand-to-availability ratio is not uniform across all boroughs. The Higher Secondary Plus I sector has a total of 3.61 lakh seats.
If VHSE schools, ITIs, ITCs, and polytechnics are included, the number of places available for SSLC students for higher studies would add up to 4.38 lakh. The number of students who passed the SSLC exam this year is 4.17 lakh. Meanwhile, around 40,000 students from the CBSE and ICSE streams also attend state curricula each year, but the exact number this year would not be known until a later date. “Not all students who pass SSLC take the Higher Secondary course.
In total, around 75,000 places are available in VHSE schools, ITIs, ITCs and polytechnics, and these places also have quite a good number of applicants. Even if you take into account the crossover students from other currents such as CBSE or ICSE, the seating scenario is currently more or less balanced, ”said a senior official. Interestingly, five southern districts have an excess of Higher Secondary Plus One seats of 631 to 4,490 compared to students who passed the SSLC this year. (See table).
On the other hand, the northern districts from Malappuram to Kasaragod have a deficit of Plus I seats of 2,812 to 22,329. The unscientific distribution of the Plus I batches is cited as the reason for this imbalance. “Over the years we have asked the government to conduct a nationwide scientific study of actual high school seating needs and correct the imbalance. What is being done, however, is a nationwide marginal increase in seats that is being done in a highly unscientific manner, ”said S. Manoj of the Aided Higher Secondary Teachers Association.
Scientists have also suggested that the Plus I booster should only be proportional to demand. The central allocation process for Plus I seats is a clear indicator of areas in which Plus I seats are in high demand. A number of new higher secondary lots were allocated across the state in 2014 and 2015. Of these, the appointment of teachers for 54 batches was not carried out because the minimum number of 50 students could not be met. The one-sided booster seat is cited as the reason for the situation.
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