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The RESULT effect

IT'S TIME for another academic year. Application forms have been filled out, certificates attested by gazette officers and then the students wait in anticipation for a call from the best college for the course of their choice.

"Colleges in the town are dealing with the most hectic and difficult time of the year. Children now come out with excellent marks at the Plus Two level that the cut off marks has to be changed every year," says Sr. Tessa, Principal, St. Teresa's College.

Parents are running from pillar to post to secure the best academic deal for their children. Colleges are now offering a wide range of choices at the graduate level. The CBSE students lose out when they compete with the students of the State Board. The Plus Two is assessed on 600 marks whereas the CBSE Plus Two is calculated to a total of 500 marks only. A couple of years back the CBSE students were given 25 grace marks which helped them compete fairly with their counterparts from the State Board. But this facility has been dropped and so many of the CBSE students fail to find their names on the merit list of the colleges of their choice.

"The selection is done purely on merit. The best marks find the best place on the merit list. Then there is management quota, sport quota, and ECA quota. Here also a cut off percentage is fixed and a student needs to meet this requirement to make them eligible for admission," says Fr. Saviance, Principal, Sacred Heart's College, Thevara.

In the Arts stream there appears to be a steady rise in demand for Commerce. So the cut off is kept at 90 per cent for this much sought after subject. Another subject that is also in demand is B.A. Economics. "The 21st century belongs to Life Sciences. So students make a bee line towards subjects like Aqua Culture, Industrial Fisheries, Botany and Zoology," opines Prof. P. J. Leslie, Principal St. Albert's College. There is also a decline in demand for subjects like Physics and Chemistry as most of the students who opt for these subjects virtually end up in engineering colleges. Also gaining rapid popularity is English Literature and Communicative English, perhaps because students realise the importance of the language if they aspire for higher studies in universities abroad.

Making the competition for the few seats in many of these select subjects stiffer is the flow of students from other countries like the Middle East, Africa, Far East etc. "This year we are also expecting some foreign students from the neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka," says Prof. Leslie.

Some students are not amply worried about the college or the subject they get, provided they manage to get a seat for this academic year. But there are others who are determined in their choice of subject. "It does not matter if she gets into B.Com or B. A. Economics as long as she gets to complete her graduation from a reputed college for she will ultimately go overseas for her post-graduation," reveals Shantha George, who is waiting a call for her daughter form one of the colleges in the city.

Once the colleges reopen and classes begin some seats are bound to fall vacant. This usually happens when students opt for other professional streams like Engineering, Medicine, B.C.A., B.B.A. etc. In order to avoid any risk they first secure a seat in the regular colleges and when they finally get a call from the professional institutions drop the regular seat. Normally, colleges fill up the vacancies from the merit list.

Since the professional colleges conduct their entrance exams quite early admissions to these courses are done much earlier than the regular colleges. But even when seats in the professional colleges fall vacant, sometimes as late as September or October, students from the regular colleges are still ready to join. "When vacancies come in as late as October or November we have no other go than to leave these seats go vacant right through. In fact, we feel guilty of having deprived other worthy students of these seats," confesses Prof. Leslie.

Such vacancies have become a cause for deep concern for the colleges. These students, with brilliant marks, only try to keep another option on hand till they have their seat in the professional college confirmed and the classes begin. "Some students who have got into the engineering colleges come and attend classes in B.Sc Maths till their colleges reopen to get a good foundation for Maths. Sometimes we are able to trace such students but sometimes they do this very cleverly," says Sr. Tessa.


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