The Class 10 results are not out yet, but that hasn’t stopped many like Nisha Bhatti, 16, who has booked a seat in a coaching class that has assured her a seat in a junior college. Using all possible means at their disposal to reach their goal — this is how the focused Gen Y approaches the admission process.
These tie-ups, known as integrated courses, between coaching classes and colleges ensure that students get marked present in college, even if they are only attending the coaching classes. The classes, in turn, provide coaching for competitive examinations for admission to technical institutions.
Bhatti, who is interested in pursuing medicine after Class 12, has signed up for an integrated course offered by a private coaching class, in partnership with a junior college at Kandivli. “It is better than a regular course because it saves me time and allows me to focus on the medical entrance test. Regular colleges are strict about attendance, but, in such courses, attending the college is not compulsory,” said Bhatti.
The number of engineering and medical aspirants signing up for such integrated courses is going up by the day. “We had to attend college only once a week for practicals. Whatever we studied was through coaching classes,” said Shreyan Chaudary, a former student of Shubham Raje junior college in Thane that offers a similar course.
The poor attendance in colleges, especially in science stream, has given rise to such partnerships, say experts. “Very few students [from the stream] attend college. They do not even appear for theory exams, and only show up for practicals,” said Kavita Rege, principal, Sathaye College, Vile Parle.
According to Rege, integrated courses could be of help, if a proper balance is maintained. “Preparing for a competitive exam is different from a board exam. The tie-ups come with expert guidance and save students’ commuting time. But there is also a danger of college being ignored altogether,” she said.
More than 30 colleges across the city are offering integrated courses along with coaching classes. Some classes also offer integrated courses for the common proficiency test for chartered accountancy and the National Aptitude Test in Architecture.
The education department, however, does not encourage such tie-ups.
“Students are being marked present in college, while they are actually in their coaching classes. This is against the rules. We are yet to come up with a plan to crack down on such colleges,” said BD Puri, in-charge, education inspector, west zone.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has banned affiliated schools from running integrated courses, but this hasn’t stopped schools from offering the courses.
“As the board does not allow it, we have made IITian’s Pace, a coaching institute, our knowledge partner. They provide the content and study material,” said Avnita Bir, principal, RN Podar School, Santacruz.
“We have also put their teachers on our rolls, so they teach on our premises. They teach physics, chemistry and maths, while our teachers take care of other subjects,” she said.