Mumbai: Around 1.42 lakh students have secured admissions for Commerce course this year for First Year Junior College (FYJC) while less than half of it have secured seats in the Science course. Junior colleges have raised issue of vacant seats for Science before the state education department as lectures for Class 11 have few students and teachers, faculty and resources are being under-utilised.
Colleges revealed that since last year the number of students attending lectures of FYJC Science have diminished compared to other streams. This year, around 63,019 students secured admissions for Science in various colleges within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
The state education department claimed the entrance examinations for Medical and Engineering courses are a major deterrent for students who wish to take up Science in FYJC. A senior officer of the department said, “Till now, majority of students have a mindset where they feel they can pursue only Medical or Engineering after completing Class 12 in Science stream. And then students face a tough time and go through several attempts clearing NEET or JEE which discourages them further to take up Science in the first place.”
The reduction in the number of students has directly affected the college management in terms of teachers, resources and facilities required for the Science course. Colleges claim they have two or three divisions for Science but they have high number of vacancy. Anjali Dasgupta, a senior teacher said, “We have two divisions each with a capacity to accommodate 120 students in total for Science general and bifocal course in FYJC. Every stream of science has a separate laboratory, staff and equipment, all of these will be redundant, soon. Especially the staff, which includes the professors and assistants.”
Moreover, with fewer students, colleges will compelled to cut down their divisions, staff and facilities. Another teacher said, “I agree we will have to move with the changing trend. Since last year, the students are choosing other streams over Science. We’d rather start an extra division for commerce and reduce the ones for science. It is sad, the staff for science will then have to be reduced.”
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