IGNOU suspends community colleges, students left in the lurch
As many as 465 community colleges run 1,615 programmes in which nearly 43,000 students are enrolled.Updated: Jul 04, 2012 00:11 IST
Career of thousands of students is at stake after the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) decided to keep activities of community colleges under abeyance for a review.
The university has got a feeler that many colleges were running as shops, and charging arbitory sums from students. Around 45 representatives of different community colleges met nodal officer of this scheme on Monday.
The concept of community colleges was introduced by the IGNOU in 2009. As many as 465 community colleges run 1,615 programmes in which nearly 43,000 students are enrolled.
These colleges empower the underprivileged with job-oriented and skill-based education programmes in the form of an associate degree, diploma or certificate. After completion of associate degree, a student can take admission to an undergraduate college.
“The Board of Management on May 31, 2012, decided that community college scheme should be subjected to a time-bound review. Till then all actions would be kept in abeyance,” acting Vice-Chancellor M Aslam told HT.
He said: “We had got information that some of community colleges had started charging arbitrary fees and were running colleges as shops.”
Talking to HT, a principal of a community college, said: “If some community colleges are using unfair means, then there should be an open inspection. Why should there be a blanket ban on new admissions.” “We have been told that all activities have to be kept on hold for six months. How will we pay the salary to our staff. The students and their parents are losing patience,” said another principal.
Subir Ghosh, President, Association of Indian Community Colleges admitted that many community colleges were running franchise from their campuses. “This had to be checked but the decision to keep the activities on hold should have been gradual after proper discussions.”