Shyama Rajagopal

Peer pressure forces students to choose science, commerce

Demand for arts subjects in State schools
Call for awareness on humanities stream

KOCHI: The Humanities or the Arts group has few takers after Class X in the CBSE schools, if the school authorities are to be believed. However, the State schools offer the arts subjects in various combinations and there are a lot of takers too.

Very few CBSE schools in Kochi offer the humanities stream. Molly Cyril, Principal of Choice School, says: “we offer a full-fledged humanities group. In fact, there are just about three or four CBSE schools in the entire State which offer humanities for students in Class XI.” The school offers subjects like Sociology, Psychology, Economics/Home Science, Computers/Mathematics and English. “We have been offering this combination for the last five years. Though the numbers of children taking up the subject are few, we would like to keep this option open.” The minimum number of children in a batch was 10 and the maximum was 18, she said.

The Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Elamakkara offers an option of Information Technology and Home Science in combination with Business Studies (Commerce) and Accountancy so that children who do not want to take up Mathematics can make a choice, said Jaya Jacob, Principal of the school. CBSE had been offering IT and Home Science as an option in class X too. Out of 180 students, about 50 take up the optional subjects, she added.

Earlier, students were taught History, Geography and Social Science in one group of subjects till Class X, but now CBSE added Disaster Management and Political Science too, said Ms. Cyril. This would create awareness among children as to what to expect when they take it up for higher studies. Earlier, students had no idea what political science means. There was definitely a little change in the manner students chose their subjects now, but more needed to be done to give an impetus to the arts subjects, which opened up a student’s writing skills too, Ms. Cyril said.

“We have affiliation for History, Hindi, Economics, Sociology and Political Science, but we have not been able to start a batch because of lack of students,” said Ms. Jacob. Similar is the case in the Bhavan’s school, Eroor. “We are planning to have a counselling session for Class X soon, so that they will be able to pick up the right subjects that suits their aptitude,” said Renuka Menon, Principal.

Many children choose commerce and science because their friends have taken it or there is pressure from the family to choose these subjects, Ms. Menon said.

The Chinmaya School, Vaduthala, and the Rajagiri School are among many other schools under the CBSE that do not offer the humanities group at all.

The Government schools, however, have no problem in getting students for the arts group. “We had two batches in Plus One in Humanities with 109 students last year,” said Nalina Kumari, Principal in-charge of the Government Girls High School. Students with good marks too preferred the subject as it offered more scope in expanding the studies to make preparation for civil services, she said. Though not all students had such a goal in mind, many had done well with humanities.