Around 24 years after St Albert’s College allowed Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) to set up a study centre on the campus as part of its social outreach program. The college has suddenly asked Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) to move out causing difficulty to over four thousand students who are studying nearly fifty courses at the centre.
In the letter “The university management, informed that they would like to stop the study center at the college. When we sent some letters requesting them to review the decision, they wrote a letter stating that now Ignou will not take any activity at the center from January 1, 2017,” said M Rajesh, regional director, Ignou regional center, Kochi.
However, St Albert’s authorities claimed that with autonomy, their range of activities had increased, and it was difficult for them to accommodate Ignou. “With the college getting freedom, the workload of teachers and staff increasing day by day, and it is not possible for ignou to continue the study center at the campus,” said St Albert’s College manager Fr Antony Arackal. But this is not entirely accurate as the college unusually shared its teaching and non-teaching faculty with Ignou. On Saturday and Sunday Ignou conduct the classes and lab for students enrolled. “With college readying a major expansion plan, it is not possible to share facilities,” said a university staff.
The Ignou center ran exclusive and traditional courses like BA and MA in psychology that attracted many students every year, besides BSc in physics, chemistry and life sciences. While every year, nearly 500 students enroll for BA Psychology at the center, almost three hundred students select for BSc chemistry, physics, and life sciences. “We have now requested Sacred Heart College, Thevara, to take up BSc in physics, chemistry, and life sciences programs and are awaiting a response. It is a logistic nightmare for us. We are trying to accommodate students at the nearest possible center,” said Rajesh. Already June admissions at the college’s Center have been stalled, and students who had joined in January 2016 will be permitted to attend classes till December 31, 2016.
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