DU’s School of Open Learning is an option by choice for those who want to study and work | education$higher-studies | Hindustan Times
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DU’s School of Open Learning is an option by choice for those who want to study and work

The SOL admits around 1.5 lakh students in undergraduate courses every year and offers BA, B.Com, BA (honors) Political Science, B.Com (honors) and BA (honors) English, with the BA programme being one of the most popular choices.

Campus Calling Updated: Jun 07, 2017 17:04 IST
The SOL admits around 1.5 lakh students in undergraduate courses every year and offers BA, B.Com, BA (honors) Political Science, B.Com (honors) and BA (honors) English, with the BA programme being one of the most popular choices.
The SOL admits around 1.5 lakh students in undergraduate courses every year and offers BA, B.Com, BA (honors) Political Science, B.Com (honors) and BA (honors) English, with the BA programme being one of the most popular choices. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The School of Open Learning is considered an option for low scorers who may not have performed well enough in the 12th grade to make the sky high cutoffs at some Delhi University colleges.

But there are many who themselves opt for SOL as their circumstances demand more free time to engage in other activities, including exploring career options at the undergraduate level.

The SOL admits around 1.5 lakh students in undergraduate courses every year and offers BA, B.Com, BA (honors) Political Science, B.Com (honors) and BA (honors) English, with the BA programme being one of the most popular choices.

It is considered a good option for students who are unable to make it to regular colleges due to high cutoffs.

A student can pursue a BCom (Hons) at SOL as long as he or she has secured 60% or more in the 12th grade exams. For BA (Hons) English, one needs to have secured at least 65% in the 12th grade, with at least 75% in English.

Else, the student must have an aggregate of at least 65% in elective English and three other academic subjects.

To pursue a BA (Hons) in Political Science, the best of four score must be at least 50% , where one subject is a language. For the BCom and BA programmes, the minimum eligibility is at least 40% in the qualifying exams.

Aditika Mahajan, a final-year BA programme student at SOL, had to opt for the institute as she did not have the grades for other DU colleges. “I had scored 58-59% in my 12th grade so I had no other option. I knew the cutoffs for DU colleges are very high so I did not even try,” she said.

Students who want to work or pursue professional courses while doing an undergraduate course apply to the SOL despite having good grades.

SOL director CS Dubey said out of the 1,45,000 students that registered last year, more than half (55%) had scored above 60 percent, and some 10,000 odd students had scored more than 80 percent in the 12th grade.

“We had 1,500 students who had scored above 90 percent, and one student who had scored a perfect 100 percent last year,” said Dubey.

As the correspondence course has only 20 odd contact classes every year, and attendance is not mandatory, this frees up time for students to pursue other goals.

Dubey said SOL is not just an option for the low scorers anymore.

“Times have changed now. Students have realised that SOL or regular colleges, they will still get a DU degree. So students enrol for correspondence courses as this opens up their time to acquire more skills that may be needed for the job market. Some students work while being enrolled in SOL while some others are enrolled in other coaching classes or are preparing for competitive exams,” he explained.

Nikki (who goes by her first name), another BA programme final-year student at SOL, said she opted for the programme as she was preparing for a career in Delhi Police. Her batchmate, Priyanka Gupta, wanted time to do extra electronics courses.

Lakshmi Agarwal, another of their classmates, was working with an NGO while studying. “I could not afford to take time off to study. I needed to work to help support my family,” she said.

Students like Prathyumn Narbar, a pole vaulter, have even withdrawn from regular colleges to enrol in SOL to find time to train. “He is an athlete and needs to keep going abroad for his training. He was in Khalsa College but after training for 7-8 hours everyday, it is difficult to sit through classes as well,” said his sister Tulika Narbar.

Dubey said these ‘advantages’ means the SOL has gotten more popular. In the five days since applications opened on June 1, they had already received over 10,000 applications. “We have already admitted 5 students too,” he said.