Polytechnic colleges constrained to settle for low scorers due to delayed start of admission process

Polytechnic colleges have been left high and dry what with the principals lamenting that late start of the admission process has meant a compromise on the quality of students for second time in a row.

They blame the pandemic-induced necessity that led the State government to declare ‘all pass’ in class X for the situation.

Unlike last year, this time the going seems to be tough since the colleges are yet to receive official guidelines on the admission process based on class IX marks. The reason is the reluctance of headmasters of government schools, both government and private, to issue transfer certificates to the students.

As the Plus One admission process began early, schools have already completed the enrolment process, prioritising students who scored well.

“Issuing transfer certificates to students at this juncture will be detrimental to teacher-student ratio at the higher secondary level,” a headmaster of a government higher secondary school said.

Chief Educational Officer R. Arivazhagan, however, says headmasters are not supposed to refuse transfer certificates to students seeking admission in polytechnic colleges. “We came across some complaints and prevailed upon school headmasters to issue the transfer certificates in the interest of the students.”

But, not all parents are aware of the scope for intervention by District Educational Officers. Eventually, the polytechnics end up admitting students rejected by schools.

“It is not a matter of surprise that students with average scores had to be admitted last year. This year, too, the scope for admitting students with tough cut-off marks does not exist,” K. Vijaykumar, Prinicpal of Seshasayee Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, said.

Only two years ago, front-ranking polytechnic colleges did not have seats even for those with scores upwards of 85%. Last year, even students with less than 50% score could not be ignored as seats would otherwise have gone unfilled, he pointed out.

The teachers find themselves necessitated to alter their pedagogical approach from teaching to coaching, which is not ideal for polytechnics. Industries have all along preferred to recruit students from polytechnic colleges only because of vibrant orientation on practical component of their syllabi,” Mr. Vijaykumar said.

“The online registration of students will continue till July 12. Many have been registering even without uploading their class IX marks. But, thankfully, the provision is there for students to register their names online first and upload their marks later on. We are awaiting clear-cut information from the Department of Technical Education for proceeding with admission of students,” Tamilselvan, Principal of Government Polytechnic College, Tiruchi, said.

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