Turmoil in Kerala education sector

Photo for representation.

Kerala education sector that has won many laurels for excellence and even topped Niti Aayog ranking is now witnessing a series of incidents that cast shadow over its quality and credibility, the latest being the death of a girl student following snakebite in a classroom.

Experts feel that these incidents should not be seen as isolated ones as it was putting the credibility of degrees awarded by universities in Kerala.

Unused answer sheets of Kerala University examinations in bundles were seized from the house of a student union leader raising serious questions over the credibility of the university examinations.

Close on the heels of that, the allegations over special moderation to nearly 70 engineering students of Mahatma Gandhi university surfaced. It was allegedly initiated at the behest of Kerala higher education minister K T Jaleel the decision was revoked. But about 70 students who failed in engineering exams already got their engineering degrees with special moderation. Steps to cancel the degrees awarded were still progressing only.

At present, a fresh row is doing the rounds over higher moderation marks being awarded to scores of students in Kerala University over the last three years. A preliminary inquiry found unauthorized access to the university computer system.

With the death of a government school student at Wayanad the other day following a snakebite, that too when class was progressing, and the alleged lapses of teachers in taking her to hospital in time, the state government is facing severe criticism.

Former diplomat TP Sreenivasan told DH that the recent unfortunate incidents in the Kerala education sector should not be downplayed as isolated ones. "There are deep-rooted issues that are affecting our education sector, which are indeed affecting the value and credibility of degrees awarded by universities in the state. Hence the government should initiate revolutionary steps to revamp the systems," said Mr. Sreenivasan, who was also a former vice-chairman of Kerala State Higher Education Council, an advisory body to the government.

All India Save Education Committee - Kerala state secretary M Shajarkhan said that the present incidents of irregularities pertaining to universities could be even suspected to be part of a ploy to promote private universities. The snakebite suffered by a student in a classroom had exposed the tall claims of the government that government schools have been made hi-tech, he said.

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