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Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:01:15 PM
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Colleges without enrolment should cease to exist

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13th-Dec-2017       
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OVER 1,500 colleges are in fear of closure as they have failed to fulfil the condition of the Education Ministry in terms of students' admission at Higher Secondary level, The concern is genuine because opening of new colleges and also their closure is not small thing, as it impacts lives of hundreds and thousands of students and well-being of their guardians.   

Media reports in a national daily on Tuesday however said the Education Ministry has already started to collect reasons behind the failure of so many colleges for not admitting any student or poor number of students. The Ministry will take stern action, including shutting up some colleges and meting out punishment to others.

Surprisingly, no student was admitted to a total of 135 colleges at Higher Secondary level under 2017-18 session. Of them, 66 institutions are Madrasas. As many as 1,383 institutions got poor number of students and most of them obtained only 5 students. As per the rule of the Ministry, an institution must have at least 25 students at Secondary level for getting MPO (Monthly Payment Order). If the number falls the Ministry has the right to close the institution. But many fear that sponsors of those colleges used them for illegal MPO money to get rich without promoting them as genuine teaching institutions.

A senior official of the Education Ministry mentioned in the related report that the Ministry gives approval of an institution if there is no college within six kilometers distance. Sometimes, the Ministry relaxes rules on the basis of density of population.

It is alleged that some officials of the Ministry helped the owners of the colleges to get MPO approval by underhand dealings. In most of the cases, the institutions got approval by some unscrupulous officials. As a result, they did not get sufficient students and some of them have lost approval.

Poor performance of colleges will exist if their existence depends upon political or other causes. Therefore the reasons for setting up so many colleges must be scrutinized. We don't have an abundance of high quality infrastructure or highly trained teachers even in our major urban areas, so setting up so many colleges without figuring out who would enroll or how they would be able to recruit quality teachers makes no sense.

It is far better to upgrade existing high quality colleges to get more enrollment with quality educational infrastructure. Putting more money into such colleges to ensure that they have better teachers and science labs will create the intellectual pull to bring in higher quality students.

In our view, there must be a through cleaning of unworthy colleges licensed and opened on political consideration to make illegal fortune. At least unscrupulous people can't exploit education institutions for government money.  


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