Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has stressed the need to attain the crucial balance between the protection of minority rights and the restoration of social justice in the education sector.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the St. Joseph’s Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology here on Thursday.
He listed the troubles that are currently faced by the sector. “We have not been able to bring about normality in terms of admission procedures to self-financing colleges. Constant efforts are being made
by the government to create a permanent system for admissions to such institutions. The necessary changes must be made at the earliest to ensure the advancement of the education sector,” pointed out Mr. Chandy.
Mr. Chandy also pointed out that in spite of figuring among the top positions in terms of literacy, Kerala has lagged behind in terms of imparting advanced education. “The state has been unable to keep pace with the rapid growth registered by science and technology. The state government that was led by A.K. Antony in 2001 had identified this crisis and, in an attempt to reverse the negative trend, had sanctioned the establishment of self-financing colleges in the state. Many of these institutions have posted great strides in the field of education,” he said.
Delivering the keynote address after inaugurating the training restaurant lab of the college, Finance Minister K.M. Mani said that the tourism sector in the state has registered a growth of 15 per cent during the previous ten years. “This growth rate should be accelerated for the development of the state. The hospitality industry and the tourism sector should function and progress hand-in-hand.
Establishments that produce skilled personnel are the need of the hour,” he said.
He highlighted on the issue of dearth of professionals in the tourism sector. “Currently, the tourism sector in the country has nearly 40 lakh personnel. A recent survey has predicted that as many as 60 lakh workers would be required by the year 2020 in order to cater to the needs of the industry. However, only approximately 12000 persons graduate annually from the various hotel management institutes of the country.”
“Paradoxically, a certain number of seats in such institutes in Kovalam and Kozhikode continue to remain vacant. This trend points to the lack of awareness regarding the area of education. However, it is heartening to understand that attempts in the positive direction are being made by various managements,” said Mr. Mani.
Minister for Education P.K. Abdu Rabb said that tourism sector has grown manifold in recent years. “However, statistics have proven that there is a long distance to be charted in order to reach the potential of the sector. Intensive training is required for students of the hotel management course. Proper training, coupled with attractive placement opportunities, would become instrumental in attracting students to this field,” he said. He also inaugurated the front office lab and the computer centre of the college.
College patron and Diocesan Bishop of Pala Mar Joseph Kallarangatt presided over the function.
Anto Antony M.P., P.C. George M.L.A., Vicar General of the Diocese Msgr. Philip Njaralakatt, Project Director of the Institute Dr. P.J. George and Principal P.C. Georgekutty spoke on the occasion.
A felicitation message of Jose M. Mani M.P. was also read at the event.