Junior college admissions in Mumbai: Boys complain after being placed in girls-only course

Jul 02, 2015, 07:37 IST | Shreya Bhandary

Five boys were dismayed to learn that they had been listed for a course that accepts only girls, and they have now approached the junior college admission authorities to address the issue

While junior college admissions have time and again drawn flak from students who complain that the system is fraught with technical snags and complications, one such glitch has landed five boys in a frustrating and slightly embarrassing predicament they have all been placed in a course that does not even accept male students.

The boys were listed for the Arts course at Marceline Junior College, which rejected their applications as it is only accepting female students. Pic/Suresh KK
The boys were listed for the Arts course at Marceline Junior College, which rejected their applications as it is only accepting female students. Pic/Suresh KK

These students have now complained to the authorities about the confusion. When the first online merit list for junior college admissions was announced on June 22, nine boys were placed in the Arts programme at Marceline Junior College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Kurla (attached to Michael High School).

To their dismay, however, they learnt that the college was not accepting boys for the course. The students then placed their hopes in the second merit list announced on June 30, but once again, five of the boys found their names listed under the same college.

One of the boys, 16-year-old Parth Salvi (name changed) recalls that after the first list was out, he was not keen on joining Marceline Junior College, but still went ahead to seek provisional admission in order to be eligible for a chance at better seats in the second merit list.

“We were shocked when the college told us that their Arts section is only for girls, and no boys are admitted. So we were given rejection letters and assured that our names would appear in the second merit list of another college. However, even in the second merit list, we were placed at the same college,” said Salvi, who scored 88 per cent in Std X.

According to the information booklet provided to all students for the online admissions process, Marceline has been listed as a co-education college under the Arts stream. In fact, the college does hold classes for both girls (morning sessions) and boys (afternoon sessions) in the Science and Commerce streams.

However, the college authorities told mid-day that for some years now, they have had to discontinue the Arts course for boys, since they have not received enough applications. “We have separate classes for girls and boys. While hundreds of girls apply for Arts, only five to seven boys apply in this stream, whereas we need at least 20-22 students to run the class,” said Moses Gomes, the school manager.

Gomes stated that the institute has time and again informed the authorities at the office of the deputy director of school education about this problem, but invariably, they are still sent applications from male students.

“Last year, only two students were placed in the Arts stream for our college, and it is difficult to run a full batch for only two students. This year, we wrote to the education department again, informing them to consider the issue, but students were misled once again,” Gomes added.

Mounting frustration
The online admissions procedure requires students to list a minimum of 30 colleges in their preferences, among which they can pick any 15 of their choice from across the city, while five have to be colleges in their municipal ward, and another ten have to be junior colleges attached to schools, like Marceline.

“The problem is that students are forced to opt for junior colleges attached to schools, then they end up being placed in colleges that don’t even accept our applications. How is it our mistake that there was a communication error between the college and the education department?” asked a relative of one of the students who scored 76 per cent in Std X but is now stuck without a college.

‘Tiny error’
The five students, including Salvi, have now complained to the office of the deputy director of education, which is in charge of the admission process. Officials were busy tackling the issue on Wednesday. “There seems to be a tiny error and we will solve this problem.

Students don’t have to worry, they will be placed at a college of their choice,” said deputy director B D Phadtare. However, another official stated that if the students don’t find their name in the third merit list, they will then have to individually go to colleges and once again apply for admissions. “We will inform colleges to accept their admission forms,” the official added.

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