The students, who had opted for computer science, said they have been told to change the college, opt for other subjects or continue with the subject at its branch in Naigaon, about 25km away. Computer science, which carries a weightage of 200 marks in the HSC exam, is a vocational subject that students can opt for instead of biology and a language or information technology. But colleges need permission from the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET), which Don Bosco does not have.
About 30 class XII students were on Monday informed about it by school principal, Donald Fernandez. "We have studied the subject for over a year-and-a-half and at this time of the year we cannot study two new subjects, so we will have to appear from Naigaon. We will have to go there for two days a week and will also be assigned a board exam centre near that college as we will be registered from there," said a student. The junior college was started in 2013 and its first batch will appear for the board exams in 2015.
The class XI students are running from pillar to post to find other colleges offering the course. "We were called last week and the principal told us that the children must switch to biology and IT as they are not doing well in computer science. But we found out that the college did not have permission to offer the course. We want to move to another college," said the parent of a class XI student. The parents have paid over Rs35,000 as fees for the year.
While the college said approvals are underway, DVET officials said they may not come through very soon. "Permission for a vocational subject is given by the state government and applications have to be submitted in the prescribed period. Don Bosco officials came to us only recently," a senior official said. He said the college may have to pay a fine and face action for offering the course without permission.
The college authorities said the students will not suffer. "We have checked with the department concerned and are expecting permission soon. So, students will not have to go to the Naigaon branch and we will be able to continue to offer the subject," said Fr William Falcao, rector of the junior college.
The college has also not conducted class XI admissions online. "All colleges have to register online. If it had done so, we would have known that it did not have permission to offer the course. If the college or parents approach us, we will give permission for the students to appear from a college nearby and take action against the college," said an official from the office of the deputy director of education, Mumbai division. Fr Falcao said they were not informed by the department that they had to register for the online process.
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