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39 Colleges ‘Hastily’ Directed to Offer Postgraduate Courses

The State Government “in a hurry” has instructed 39 government degree colleges in the State to offer postgraduate courses from the academic year 2011-12.

Sources in the Department of Collegiate Education and some government colleges told The Hindu that the government’s decision had landed some colleges in trouble as they were facing dearth of qualified teachers and infrastructure particularly to teach science subjects.

They said that the government had taken the decision in a hurry in late May, 2011. It issued three letters, one in May and two in July, with details of post-graduate subjects meant to be opened in 39 colleges.

Universities in the State normally invite applications from colleges for affiliation of courses in January. The government’s instruction to colleges to submit applications came much later leaving them without much time to deliberate.

As a sequel to the three letters, a letter by the Director of Collegiate Education on August 1, 2011 to the Regional Office of Joint Director of Collegiate Education, Mangalore, asked principals of seven colleges under the region to “submit applications for affiliation to the university and admit students in anticipation of the affiliation to the courses”. The letter, a copy of which is available with The Hindu , asked the Joint Director to take steps for providing qualified teachers and infrastructure at the colleges.

The government colleges at Kushalnagar, Vitla, Bantwal, Hebri, Karkala, Uppinangady and Barkur have been instructed to open the postgraduate colleges. The college at Barkur has been told to open Physics, Mathematics, Psychology, Information Science and Economics. Other colleges have been asked to open either M. A. or M.Com. or both. The college at Vitla has been asked to open MSW also.

Commenting over it president of Association of Mangalore University College Teachers (AMUCT) Ummappa Poojary P told The Hindu that many government colleges lacked qualified permanent teachers and library facilities. He said that if all the colleges opened postgraduate courses without proper facilities it would become nothing but extension of undergraduate courses.

Mr. Poojary, who is also the treasurer of Federation of University and College Teachers’ Associations in Karnataka (FUCTAK), said that the government’s intension could be to increase enrolment ratio in higher education. If it made the colleges to admit students without appointing qualified teachers, students would be at loss as they might fail to get quality education. A principal of a college said that the government has not yet appointed permanent teachers for new postgraduate subjects opened in some government colleges in the State in 2008-09.

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The web portal of the Department of Collegiate Education

The web portal of the Department of Collegiate Education, which was launched on Friday, offers a few glimpses of the department’s efforts to impart quality higher education and its increasing role in developmental activities in the higher education sector.

The web portal, developed by the National Informatics Centre, was officially launched by Minister for Education M.A. Baby at a function at Government Women’s College here.

Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Kuruvila John; Director of Collegiate Education, K. Gopalakrishna Bhat; and the former Principal Nabessa Ummal; were among those present.

The home page leads to a brief outline of the department, organisation structure, college and hostels, scholarships and location map of educational institutions.

In addition to live news from the department, the portal has separate sections for succession list, old initiative, useful links, feedback, what’s new, scholarship news and photo gallery in the main menu.

In the old initiative section, a ‘neet’ dated 1834 AD on English education issued by Swati Thirunal has been included.

The recent Onam celebrations at the Directorate of Collegiate Education functioning at Vikas Bhavan has been included in the photo gallery.

In key concepts, the activities, scholarships, achievements, Government Orders, circulars, RTI information, services and site map have been provided. The contact numbers and website of the colleges under the department have been included.

To encourage economically backward students to pursue higher education, the Department offers various scholarship schemes. They are given in detail along with the address of the scholarship wing of the department that has its office on the Sanskrit College campus.

The department was established in 1957 as an administrative authority of 13 government colleges in Kerala.

Now there are 39 arts and science colleges, 3 music colleges, 4 training colleges, a physical education college and 15 college hostels under the department. Service matters of around 20,000 aided college staff are managed by the department.


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