Kerala SFI protests against Class 11 seat shortage, criticises Education Minister

SFI national committee member E Afsal said that they decided to protest after Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty did not adhere to his promise of allocating additional seats.
SFI protest in Malappuram
SFI protest in Malappuram Facebook
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After a series of protests by student outfits linked to Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Indian National Congress over shortage of Class 11 seats in Malabar region, Students Federation of India (SFI), linked to the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), organised a protest on Monday, June 24. 

Inaugurating the protest, SFI national committee member E Afsal said that they decided to protest after Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty did not adhere to his promise that additional batches will be allotted if there was a shortage of seats after the third allotment. “SFI had asked Minister Sivankutty to solve the seat shortage in Malabar area since SSLC results were announced. The promise made at that time was not fulfilled, forcing SFI to carry out the protest march,” Afsal added.

The Muslim Students Federation (MSF), linked to the IUML, began protests a week ago alleging that the LDF government was neglecting the Malabar region, particularly Malappuram. Congress’ Kerala Students Union (KSU) staged a protest in Malappuram highlighting the seat scarcity and demanding allocation of additional seats. On June 22, members of both KSU and MSF waved black flags at Chief Minister Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan in Kozhikode during an event.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, June 25, Youth League, IUML’s youth organisation, staged a protest march in Thiruvananthapuram raising the seat shortage issue, and police resorted to water cannons. Similarly on Tuesday, the Fraternity Movement conducted a protest march to Malappuram Collectorate raising similar concerns. 

During an assembly session on June 24, V Sivankutty addressed this issue and clarified that there are 17,298 applicants awaiting admission and 9,820 seats are vacant. He stated that these seats will be filled after the supplementary allotment, which will reduce seat shortage to 7,478. He also stated that the problem will be resolved with the cooperation of student organisations and opposition. 

Reacting to SFI’s protest V Sivankutty told the media that they might have protested because of misunderstanding. Taking a dig at KSU and MSF’s protests, the minister said the unions have not engaged in protest for a long time. “Everybody has the right to stage protests,” he added.

Students of Class 11 in Malappuram who secured full A plus in SSLC exams said they were unable to get admissions even after the third allotment, which came out recently. 

According to The Hindu, 79,730 students were eligible for higher studies in Malappuram and the number of seats available is 59,690 – 33,925 in government and 25,765 in aided schools.

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