PDP urges govt. to allow colleges to increase their intake capacity

The PDP has requested the government to pay heed to the distressful situation of thousands of students and parents

With more than 9,000 students (who have finished class 12) without a clear direction in continuing their studies, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) issued a press release yesterday, maintaining that the government needs to allow colleges to increase their capacity on a fast-track basis. 

“PDP is deeply concerned that the DNT government is not only unprepared to address the situation but have in-fact worsened the situation by decreasing the intake of students in the colleges,” states the press release.

Based on the report of the Education Minister that was presented in the recent parliament session, the PDP reiterated that only 3,567 class 12 passed students are enrolled in different colleges out of 12,595 students who have actually qualified for further studies in 2021.

“This means that more than 9,000 students are left without a clear direction in furthering their studies.  This is besides the thousands who have failed and others who have not qualified for colleges,” states the press release.

The PDP explained that the present situation is aggravated by the COVID pandemic and the government could have been more prepared to mitigate the gravity of the situation.

“The government should have known better to prepare for the situation as the COVID Pandemic had been around for two years and it was not likely that the borders would be opened anytime sooner.” 

In addition, the PDP submitted that the government should also have known that the first batch of students who were promoted to class 11 without the cut-off point would graduate class 12 this year. In-fact 2,774 students out of 3,692 who received the government scholarship are among the students left without a clear direction for their further studies.

“On the contrary, PDP is surprised that the government colleges within the country have reduced the in-take numbers which fueled the gravity of the situation,” states the press release.

 The PDP also maintained that many parents and students who wished to continue further studies in government and private colleges within the country are denied admission even when the scores are as high as 70%, which is a score that fetches a college admission easily during the normal times.

“PDP is also concerned that even after three years of working on the Technical and Vocational Education program which was taken under the Office of the Prime Minister; there is no sign of any progress made,” the press release stated, adding that the TVET would have been a viable option to attract these class 12 students during such a time if the government was prepared. 

PDP has therefore recommended the government to allow the government and private colleges within the country to increase their capacity on a fast-track basis to enable them to admit students at the earliest possible time.

In addition, the party stated that the government needs to liaise with colleges and institutions abroad where the pandemic situation has improved and is under control to facilitate admission and movement of students. 

Further, the PDP recommended the government to prepare the Vocational and Technical Institutes in the country to absorb those students interested in the sector. “Organize meaningful engagement programs for these students even as they wait for the situation to become normal.”

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu