After a First Year Junior College (FYJC) aspirant killed himself because he did not get through a college of his choice, parents of students have demanded an inquiry into the manner in which the online system allotted seats this year.
A majority of the 2.2 lakh applicants were allotted seats in their least preferred colleges. The colleges were either too far from their residence, charged high fees – as the institutions are not aided by the government - or did not offer subjects of the students’ choice. HT had highlighted this issue in its August 4 edition.
Parents said that the students have been depressed because of this. “My daughters ask me what is the point of studying so hard if they will have to attend colleges whose cut-offs are far lower than their scores,” said Munaf Shaikh, a parent from Crawford market. His daughters, Nabiyaah and Mehreen were allotted Lala College, Worli and BM Ruia College, where the cut off is 35%, despite scoring 77% and 84%.
The parents said that the government needs to examine what went wrong in the system and provide relief to the students. “There is certainly something amiss with the system and unless that is rectified, students will face the same problems in the special rounds,” said Azhal Merchant, a parent from Bombay Central.
Merchant suggested that the government must increase the number of seats in coveted colleges in the special rounds like they did for degree college admissions recently so that more students get admission into better colleges. So far, 7,200 new seats have been added to junior colleges but these are small institutes attached to schools, for which there are not many takers.
“Since the special rounds are kept towards the end and new applicants were allotted seats first, the government is punishing students who want to change their seats as all the good colleges will be filled by then,” added Merchant.
Officials from the department admitted that the special rounds were kept towards the end to penalise students for not filling their forms correctly. “Despite telling them repeatedly, students do not list out the colleges in the order of their preference or check whether the listed college is offering the subjects that they want or not. They even make mistakes in selecting the ward and zone,” said BB Chavan, deputy director of education, Mumbai region. “We are giving them another chance but they also need to learn a lesson so that they do not repeat this,” he said.
Speaking about the student who committed suicide, Chavan said that he had scored 43% in SSC and was allotted the college of his second preference. The student, however, had not claimed his seat after third round. “In the first round he was allotted a college of his 10th preference and then in third list he got a betterment to his second preference but he was still unhappy,” said Chavan, adding that the department had spoken to the student’s principal.
In the last three weeks, two FYJC students have committed suicide
On August 3, Durgesh Tapan, FYJC aspirant, killed himself because he did not get admission to the college of his choice. The police said that he was depressed as he was not allotted a college in Bandra and did not want to wait for the next cut-off list
On July 21, a 16-year-old girl from Kalamboli, committed suicide after a college assured her offline admission, took money but later cancelled it. Pushpa Suryavnanshi, who had scored 81.40% in SSC examination wanted to take admission in Sudhagad Secondary school and higher education, the junior college near her home. She had also given `20,000 to the principal of the college for offline admission. Education minister Vinod Tawde has initiated an inquiry against the college.