Uncertainty in Chandigarh with reopening of colleges.. Image Source: IANS News

Amaravati, Dec 17 : The Andhra Pradesh government set the ball rolling on Wednesday to crackdown on corporate intermediate colleges for criminally sitting on the certificates of the students, demanding fees.

On Wednesday, B. Rajsekhar, Principal Secretary, School Education Department, wrote to Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang to initiate action against such colleges.

"In this regard, the DGP, Vijayawada, has been requested to instruct the authorities concerned to initiate necessary action against the principals/managements of junior colleges who are withholding/possessing SSC (10th standard) certificates of students illegally and not issuing transfer certificates (TC)," wrote Rajsekhar.

The Principal Secretary highlighted that some junior college managements are not returning the students' SSC certificates, intermediate pass certificates and TCs for want of tuition fees and other frivolous reasons.

"The complaints against college managements by the students include insisting for payment of additional amount, committed due amount and fees for online classes etc. for issuing the said certificates," he said.

This unnecessary delay in procuring certificates is causing much heartburn among the students and their families as they are unable to go ahead with their preparations for higher studies.

"Many students who got admission in IITs have complained to me that the colleges are sitting on their certificates, impairing their future plans," V. Ramakrishna, Secretary, Board of Intermediate Education (BIE), told IANS.

Rajsekhar reminded that the BIE had barred the colleges from withholding certificates in July itself as many college managements resort to this criminal activity regularly, terrorising students.

Already, the BIE has obviated the need for intermediate colleges to physically verify a student's 10th standard certificate and other documents, a much abused procedure to gain complete domination over the students.

"In the name of verifying certificates, they (college managements) are holding back the certificates if they (students) don't pay tuition fees and for other kinds of reasons," Ramakrishna had said earlier.

In his appeal to the DGP, he also attached some complaints received from the students and their parents for reference.

The Andhra Pradesh government is reforming the two-year intermediate course subjected to decades of free-for-all exploitation, abuse and commercial enterprise.

In a state like Andhra Pradesh, where an average family places a high premium on education at any cost, some enterprising individuals smelled a business opportunity and started intermediate colleges in the past four decades, which grew into formidable corporate players in the due course of time.

Over the years, several junior colleges erected makeshift sheds without libraries, playgrounds, proper facilities and crammed the students to call them intermediate colleges.

It is exactly this abuse of the system which Ramakrishna is aiming to shatter for the good of lakhs of students.

Introducing online admissions, obviating the need for a principal to endorse examination hall tickets, displaying 25 pictures of colleges on the BIE website, abolishing mind-numbing advertisements are some of the much-needed reforms that have been initiated.

Asbestos sheds as classrooms, premises sans fire safety certificates, admission hunting, compelling teaching staff to market colleges, overcrowded classrooms and other transgressions will be a thing of the past if the government manages to succeed with its reforms.

From kindergarten to post-graduate courses, education in the southern state is highly commercialised, flouting several rules along the way.

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