LDF govt claims no shortage of plus one seats in Malabar region; UDF refutes it

The Kerala government on Tuesday claimed in the state assembly that there was no crisis in plus one admission in the northern Malabar region, a contention refuted by the Congress-led UDF opposition which accused the Left administration of making inaccurate statements in the House.
Kerala State General Education Minister V Sivankutty
Kerala State General Education Minister V Sivankutty

Thiruvananthapuram | The Kerala government on Tuesday claimed in the state assembly that there was no crisis in plus one admission in the northern Malabar region, a contention refuted by the Congress-led UDF opposition which accused the Left administration of making inaccurate statements in the House.

State General Education Minister V Sivankutty said that every year after plus one (class 11) admissions in the Malabar region, thousands of seats remain vacant there.

He also claimed that despite every year, temporary additional batches are permitted in that region to ensure that students get their choice of streams.

He made the submissions opposing the adjournment notice moved by the UDF to stop the House proceedings and discuss the issue of alleged shortage of seats for plus one admissions in the northern Malabar region.

In view of the submission made by the minister, Speaker A N Shamseer denied permission for the adjournment. As it was denied, the opposition staged a walkout from the House in protest.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan said that if thousands of seats were lying vacant in the Malabar region, then why did the state government permit a 30 per cent marginal increase in class strength? Satheesan further said that due to the marginal increase, it would be difficult for teachers to teach the 65-75 students in each class.

Deputy Leader of Opposition P K Kunhalikutty said that despite the marginal increase there is a shortage of seats.

Kunhalikutty also claimed that there appears to be a lack of attention or neglect towards the Malabar region on the issue.

UDF MLA N Samsudheen, one of the opposition members who moved the adjournment notice, said that the figures cited by the minister in the House were incorrect when compared to the data available on the government's website.

He said there was an acute shortage of seats in plus one in all six districts of the Malabar region with the highest in Malappuram.

He said that giving temporary additional batches or permitting a marginal increase in strength of classes was not a solution. "The only solution would be to give permanent batches," he said.

The UDF MLA also suggested that the seats for students should be ensured at the taluk level as otherwise children will have to travel over a hundred kilometers within a district to attend school.

Samsudheen also said that the government increased the number of bars in the state by over 1,000 during eight years of its administration, but no permanent additional batches were permitted during the same period.

Refuting the opposition allegations, Sivankutty said he cited the correct figures.

He also said that Kunhalikutty had met with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan regarding the seat shortage.

"The CM assured that if there was a seat shortage after three rounds of seat allocation were over, then steps would be taken to address it," the minister said

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