Private colleges teeter with COVID blues

Admissions to the government are increasing. colleges, as many families cannot afford a private low-income education

Falaknuma’s Government Junior College (GJC), which rarely exceeds 500 admissions, recorded 2,083 admissions this year, indicating growing confidence in the government system and also the impact of COVID on family incomes.

This trend is not limited to Falaknuma College, but to all the other GJCs in the city and state. GJC Bahadurpura with 1,253 admissions, followed by GJC Mahabubnagar (1,205) and Nampally college (1,203) showed an increasing trend in admissions.

Other colleges with a huge increase in numbers include GJC Tandoor (1,139), Govt City College (1,072), GJC Nalgonda (985), GJC Girls Falaknuma (965), GJC Chanchalguda (965) and GJC Kukatpally (876) . Multiple factors seem to have influenced parents to join their wards, but the most telling reason seems to be the drop in income due to COVID.

Venugopal, who runs a small candy store and admitted his daughter to Nampally’s college, agreed he made the decision because of declining income. “I had to choose between a corporate college or a government college and I chose the latter because I can’t afford the corporate fee structure,” he said.

Many like him, who previously would have preferred neighborhood private colleges, have opted for public colleges because education is free and books are also provided for free. “Small private mid-level colleges lost because they weren’t able to offer online education like corporate colleges or government colleges,” said the director of a GJC.

Many parents believe that there is no point in paying for online course fees when their wards cannot attend physical classes at colleges. So there is hardly any difference between a government college or a private college where they had to pay fees. Small colleges charge between 8,000 and 15,000 per year, while corporate colleges charge more than a lakh.

Demand has also skyrocketed due to the increase in the passing percentage at SSC, as all students were declared successful without exams due to the crown.

Government Junior Lecturers Association (GJLA) President P. Madhusudhan Reddy agrees that the surge in admissions was also due to increased confidence in the government sector. He says that when Telangana was formed in 2014, admissions to government colleges were around 52,000. With free and free books, it jumped to 87,000 last year. However, this year, so far, 105,600 admissions have been recorded, an increase of almost 20,000 additional admissions. Interestingly, in the combined state, GJCs saw a 10% drop in admissions year over year.

In Hyderabad itself, this year 12,000 students were enrolled in the GJCs, including 6,800 in the Commerce stream. The state has 405 GJCs with an admission force of 1.44 lakh seats. Education Minister Sabitha Indra Reddy said the government has already distributed free textbooks to 3 lakh Inter students for ₹ 9 crore.

Private colleges set up by individuals and small groups seem to be the hardest hit, forcing students to opt for GJCs.

The number of private colleges has risen to 1,700 today, up from 2,520 in 2014. And of these, this year only 1,550 have applied for membership with TSBIE, indicating the disastrous effect. on them. An official said 162 colleges are closed this year and a major factor is the government’s failure to release fee reimbursement funds.

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