Indian students in the country’s largest state of Kerala, which has the world’s second-highest unemployment rate, face an unprecedented number of hurdles in achieving their goals of higher education and employment.
As many as half of them, nearly 15 percent, fail to reach even a second-year university in their first year and many of them do not finish school even when they do.
A study conducted by the Institute of Science and Technology (ISET) in Kerala found that the total student enrolment in the state’s higher education institutions fell to just 12.9 percent in the first half of the year, the lowest rate in the world.
It was the lowest among states.
In Bihar, it was close to 19 percent.
In the latest report of the Centre for the Study of Development (CSDS), the highest-level survey of the state, the CSDS found that India has the third-lowest student enrolments among countries surveyed.
It was just under 8 percent in Gujarat.
The CSDS survey found that among students attending the primary, secondary and tertiary level, students in Kerala are worse off than the rest of the country.
In a country with the third highest unemployment rate in India, where a total of 12.7 percent of the workforce is unemployed, the overall enrolment is just 7.4 percent.
A mere 7.3 percent of students are enrolled at any level in the universities and colleges.
In Kerala, the ratio of students to students in higher education was just 4.2 percent in 2017-18, the highest in the survey.
It is the lowest ratio among states in India.
Kerala has the fifth-highest number of students in secondary and the fourth-highest percentage of students enrolled in higher institutions.
In the latest data of the CSD, it has the highest ratio of enrolments in the secondary and university level.
While the CSDP found that Kerala had the highest number of secondary students in terms of enrolment, the number of enrolled in tertiary institutions was also very high.
The ratio of enrolled tertiary students in Indian universities and college was 4.5 percent.
In 2018-19, the average enrolment was just 6.1 percent in primary and 12.5 per cent in the tertiary education.
Kashmir, which is part of India, is one of the most highly populated states in the entire world.
The state has a population of more than two billion people.
The Kerala government had in December 2015 decided to set up a “solution for the failure of higher learning” and initiated a plan to create a special portal called Kannadigas (Students of the World) for students from Kerala and other states to get help in completing their studies.
It had also set up an online portal for students to access and apply for post-graduation jobs in the national capital.
The portal was launched by the state government on November 1.
In May this year, more than 40,000 students, mostly students from other states, signed a petition to the state assembly demanding that the portal be made available for them.
The petition was rejected by the assembly in September.
The ministry of human resources and welfare (HRW) had in August 2017 announced a Rs 1,000 crore fund for the “solutions to the problems of poor education in Kerala”.
The petitioners in the Kannada language have argued that the Kerala government should help them in their quest for higher education.
A petition by the Kanyakumari Students Union (KSU) had also been submitted in the legislature in June 2017.
“We are asking for the right to avail post-graduate training in the Government of India (GIO) and the government of the Union of India,” the petition stated.
The KSU, a student wing of the Indian Student Congress, had also petitioned the state cabinet to make the portal available.
In October, the state Assembly had asked HRW to set aside Rs 3.5 crore for a portal for post graduate students in education.
The same month, the Kerala Human Resource Development Minister Ananth Kumar had said that a portal would be launched for students in 2019-20.