Number of PU Colleges increases in Karnataka, but Education is suffering

As per a recent update, the total number of pre-university colleges in Karnataka have shown an increase of 26% in the last five years. As it appears, the situation here is not all rosy as the numbers declared shows awfully worrying trends in the pre-university infrastructure. As per the declaration made by the department of PU education, the total number of PU colleges has come up to 5,004 from 3,949 in 2012. The data shows the number of PU Colleges till January 1 this year.

The statement of the stakeholders on the reported increase shows the signs of concern, as the entire scenario has come up to be asymmetrical. Presently there are 2,828 private unaided PU colleges, 1,204 government colleges, 797 aided colleges, 162 bifurcated colleges and 13 BBMP colleges against the corresponding numbers of 2012 which were 1,933, 1,202, 636, 165 and 13 in the same order.

The increase of the numbers of Private University is exemplary, but on the other hand, the Government institutes have shown a negligible increase. Karnataka State PU College Principals’ Association Secretary K R Manjunath said, “The government has permitted about 1,700 private colleges to open in the name of liberalization. The student strength in government PU colleges continues to suffer because of this.”

It is a report submitted by Manjunath to the government pertaining to the issue of proliferation of Private unaided PU Colleges that raised the concerns. In the report, Manjunath has questioned the process through which the colleges seek permission to open and has raised a doubt of flaws “It has become easy to seek permission for opening a new PU college,” he said. “These days, colleges are opening up in commercial complexes, dilapidated buildings and with smaller classrooms as well,”, says the report.

“Many of the new-age PU colleges with integrated approach have become a trend -money-making centers. They run for nearly 10-12 hours with a lot of pressure on students. This is not quality education,” the report said, adding: “The fees to these institutions are extremely high and discriminate those students who can’t afford the kind of education.”

The government colleges in Bengaluru are in a state of pity. They run without lectures and optimum infrastructure. There are many government colleges that run in shift system as they share the building with different high-schools and other government institutions.

This gives rise to low strength in such colleges and ultimately the colleges have to shut down. The report has instructed the department to take this with concern and follow up the opening of the new private unaided institution while taking care of the existing Government colleges simultaneously.

C Shikha, director, PU education department, told ToI, ” As per our rules, every institution which has the right kind of infrastructure and furnishes all required information has the right to receive permission. From our end, we are mapping the institutions to check on them from time to time.”

“But we cannot curb new PU colleges from opening up just because we need our government institutions to run as well. Students are a priority and if they are being given quality education, there is nothing wrong in it,” she added.

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