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TIRUCHI: Close to 38,000 students in Tiruchi revenue district took up the standard X public examinations under the State, Matriculation and Anglo-Indian boards this year.
The number of students who appeared for the Plus Two public examinations was lesser at 27,475 in the three educational districts of Tiruchi, Lalgudi and Musiri put together.
The gap of more than 10,000 seats is too conspicuous to go unnoticed. This explains the scramble for Plus One admissions in the 74 higher secondary schools across the district.
Parents are a worried lot, running from pillar to post to secure admissions for their wards, since self-financing schools and even some of the government-aided schools admit candidates by fixing cut-offs for different groups they offer.
In view of the High Court order requiring schools to accord priority to their own students seeking Plus One admissions, the higher secondary schools do not refuse admissions blatantly.
But official sources say it is impossible to rein in schools when they follow the merit-system.
The fact is that even at the school level, the intake capacity is lesser in Plus One when compared to the strength of tenth standard students. It is easier for the education department to monitor admissions in compliance with the roster system in government schools and to some extent in government-aided schools. But the same cannot be enforced with certainty in self-financing higher secondary schools, officials admit.
A few government higher secondary schools in the district such as the Boy's Higher Secondary School in Lalgudi do not face difficulties in accommodating all of its tenth standard students desiring Plus One admission.
Compared to 350 students in tenth standard, there are nearly 400 higher secondary seats in the school. “We also admit students from other schools in and around the town,” said the School Headmaster, R. Ravi.
Yet the scenario is reportedly different in the government higher secondary schools in Poovalur and Peruvalappur in the same educational district.
The accommodation capacity in Plus One is limited when compared to tenth standard in these schools as in a majority of schools across the district.
It is not that those who do not secure Plus One admission have no other avenues.
Role of ITI's
Bright students from economically poor families exercise the option of getting admission in a handful of Industrial Training Institutes in the district.
The increase in the number of polytechnic colleges also helps many to switch over. Nevertheless, Industrial Training Institutes and polytechnic colleges put together would be able to accommodate only a few thousands of students. Thousands of students are still left out year after year.
The situation cannot be set right at one go. Every year, only four to five high schools are given permission to transform into higher secondary schools.
The government may find creating adequate infrastructure and appointing adequate faculty at one go an uphill task.
Headmasters suggest that to begin with, the State Government could permit government schools to make considerable admissions on self-financing basis to cover the cost of facilities and teachers' salaries.
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