Admissions to I, II PU courses in Karnataka plunge 10% in Covid-hit year NewsFunda

BENGALURU: Enrolment into I and II PU courses in Karnataka has dipped by nearly 10% each in the pandemic-hit academic year. This comes close on the heels of education experts pointing to huge learning gaps among lower-grade schoolchildren due to disruptions caused by Covid-19.

The last date for PU admissions was February 20, and it had been extended many times to give students a fair chance to join the course in the Covid year.

While 6.5 lakh students joined I PU in 2019-20, about 5.9 lakh signed up in 2020-21. Interestingly, the number of students passing the qualifying SSLC exam in the preceding years has remained the same. According to data shared by the department of pre-university education (DPUE), 6.9 lakh students had cleared the SSLC exam either in their first attempt or in supplementary.

Enrolment to ITIs too has dropped this year

DPUE director Snehal R told TOI: “Covid has had immense impact on the lives of students. Migration of families within and across states, loss of parents’ income, long gap between end of previous academic year and the new one, lack of clarity in academic activities — all these have resulted in some students being unable to enrol into PU colleges.”

The department has tried to bring back all students to college by extending admission dates, allowing change of college, reducing syllabus and waiving minimum attendance to attend exams. “Teachers have tried to track students in their bid to enroll them for the courses,” she added.

The II PU story, too, reads the same. More than 5.8 lakh students joined II PU, while nearly 71,000 students went missing after doing I PU. The number of students in II PU in absolute terms is more than that of last year (5.6 lakh), which appears to be the result of a friendly pass policy.

Enrolment to ITIs (a course which makes students industry-ready), too, has dropped this year. Of the 99,420 seats, only 58,000 have been filled so far. Last year, 77,635 of 85,000 seats were filled. Nagasimha G Rao, director, Child Rights Trust, said an increasing number of children were getting into jobs as the pandemic has hit their livelihood.

News is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Newsfunda

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