The Parallel College Coordination Committee took out a a protest march and dharna in front of the Calicut University’s main entrance on Wednesday demanding varsity authorities to immediately publish admission notification for first year distance education degree and postgraduate courses for this academic year.
Members of the coordination committee including students, teachers and management representatives of parallel colleges from five district took part in the march and dharna.
C.J.David, Vice Chairman of the Coordination committee inaugurated. Rajan Thomas presided. A. Prabhakaran, K. Dayanandan, P. T. Moideenkutty, Joju Tharakan, K. Vidyadharan and P. K. Vinod spoke.
Co-ordination committee Chairman Prabhakaran said that the members of the committee would launch an indefinite relay dharna stir in front of the Malappuram district collectorate from September 28 demanding the withdrawal of the Government decision to shift the distance education courses of the varsities in the state to the proposed Sree Narayana state open University at Kollam.
After the conclusion of the dharna, the office bearers of the Coordination committee submitted representations to Vice Chancellor Prof. M. K. Jayaraj and Registrar Dr. C. L. Joshy urging them to call for applications for admission to the first year degree and postgraduate courses under the school of distance education of the University immediately
Meanwhile, the proposed open University, modelled on the lines of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), with its headquarters at Kollam will subsume the distance education courses of four universities, viz., Kerala University, Mahatma Gandhi University, Calicut University and Kannur University.
The university, which will have territorial jurisdiction spread across the State, will bring under one roof all distance education and private registration programmes. All teaching and non-teaching posts in the schools of distance education of universities will be transferred to the proposed university.
The open university will have a three-tier structure comprising an academic and research council, directors’ council and schools of studies. It is expected to adopt a decentralised system of governance having a headquarters, regional centres and study centres spread across the State.
The students from the state Universities, who intend to pursue distance education courses for various reasons including lack of seats in regular colleges, are, however, a worried lot. They are reluctant to enrol themselves for the distance education programmes in the proposed open University. They apprehend that the degrees awarded by the open university under distance education mode will not have much value and credibility in the matter of appointment to the various public and private sectors. Of late, many foreign employers do not consider the degrees awarded through the private and distance education mode.
The situation will further aggravate when the whole certification is done by open University, say the students.
They point out that state Universities in neighbouring states have still the distance education programmes of their own under their distance education centres, even as those states are having open Universities as well. The same status and privileges be given to the Universities in the state, protecting the interests of the students, they vociferously demand.