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Education Department, an Augean Stable

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Education Department, an Augean Stable
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The President, Pranab Mukherjee, while speaking at a convocation ceremony of the Central University of Kerala at Kasaragod, expressed concern about the scarcity of good teachers in the country who were dedicated towards the students.

He pointed out that this shortage was the reason why Indian Universities were absent from the top two hundred ranks in the world despite having 569 Universities, 36, 000 colleges, 30 NITs and 11 IITs in the country. At the same time, there are Indian teachers working in Educational institutions with international standards in Europe and America. It is evident that the degradation of standards faced by the country’s Universities and educational institutions is not due to the lack of intelligence or caliber of the people. The answers to the questions lie in the state with highest literacy rate in the country, which is Kerala. It is a well known fact that the educational system here is often driven by gluttonous business minds, corruption, partiality, communal preferences and political interests right from the primary levels to the Universities. The latest sanctioning of new higher secondary schools and additional plus two batches after much controversy is yet another testimony to the corrupted educational system in the state.

Thousands of students in the Malabar region had complained of a lack of higher educational facilities just after the class ten results were published. The allotment of new schools in Panchayats with no Higher Secondary schools and additional Plus Two batches in those with no Higher Secondary sections were the only feasible solution to the dilemma according to many. The government, in the late 90s, had decided and implemented the removal of Pre-Degree from the colleges and appending it to the high schools. Criticisms that the decision had favored the department as well as the community of the head of the education department were raised and that was justifiable. Malabar have always faced discrimination and neglect in the field of education and the governments in power have continued their indifference in the matter.

The Leftist government, during its last days of the tenure, had taken steps to start new higher secondary schools in Panchayats, and this had helped in resolving the issue partially. But now, thousands of students are finding it difficult to secure seats for comfortable higher studies and had to resort to open schools. The districts and the schools that actually require the higher secondary batches could be found by honest and comprehensible analysis. It’s equally accepted by one and all that while implementing the allotments, the priority has to be given to government schools. The fact that the unfair business agreements in the background, political pressures and the devious tactics of the religious and communal giants have influenced the recently published list can’t be ignored. When districts in Malabar witnessed an acute shortage of seats, many southern districts were having more seats than their requirement. Priorities are given only to the schools run by managements of forward communities targeting hefty donations. The schools in the Malabar region face neglect and the government schools where no donations are paid are last in the list. The only thing left out in amidst these competitions is education. For many it is justifiable for the people’s representatives and those above to ask for their share when the managements gulp down 35 lakhs for the employment of teachers. The government who initially employs guest lecturers for the new schools and batches later confirms them. The managements always accomplish the minimum class limit of 40 students. All these factors continue to establish the fact that the Education department is no better than an 'Augean stable'.

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