Kottayam: SME, Kottayam students stage protest against government's closure decision
Kottayam: The government’s recent directive to the management of the School of Medical Education to stop taking fresh admissions for the next academic year, saw 60 students stage a roof top protest. The students took to the terrace of the three storied building of the Regional Centre in Puthuppally to express their disagreement with the government on its decision to close down the institute by stopping fresh admissions.
The students who entered the building around 3.30pm stayed on its terrace for over two hours, till the Kottayam, MLA, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan arrived and asked the students to come down for talks.The fire and rescue unit stayed posted at the spot to meet any emergency.
"The MLA talked to the Health Minister over the phone. The MLA assured us that within a week a meeting of the University authorities of the MGU and KUHS and representatives of the teachers and students of the SME will be held in the presence of the Health Minister, said Pushpa R, Regional Director, SME.
"We want either Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS) to take over the institute or allow the MG University to continue the courses of the SME," said Abhiram, a student to TOI.
Started in 1993, by the Mahatma Gandhi University, the School of Medical Education was meant to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for trained professionals in the area of allied medical sciences. Apart from the main centre of the SME, near Medical College Hospital here,, the school has eight other regional centres.
It is being hinted that Kerala University of Health Sciences will not be issuing Equivalency Certificates to the students. One of the reasons cited by KUHS for the government’s directive against admissions is the institute not having a hospital of its own, said Regi Ram, Director of SME. If the government goes ahead with its decision it will jeopardize the future of 4000 students studying at the various SME centres, he added. "The majority of the students here are from financially backward families,” he further stated. “After the completion of the courses most of them land up with jobs abroad," said Mr Ram. "There are many private institutions in the field of allied medical sciences which do not have any proper infrastructure or own hospitals; compared to them the SME is one of the best institute in the state," he added.
Meanwhile,the students who have been admitted to the SME till the year 2016 have the assurance of the the MG University,Vice Chancellor, Babu that they will not have to face any issues.
A special syndicate meeting of the university is scheduled for January 17, to discuss issues pertaining to student interests.