Choice Based Credit System facing Practical difficulties

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Choice Based Credit System facing Practical difficulties

The Choice Based Credit System is just three months old in Tamil Nadu universities, but many colleges are already discovering that choice is tough to provide.

“In many cases, there is very little choice being offered to students,” admitted Higher Education secretary K. Ganesan after a meeting of State Vice-Chancellors chaired by Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudy. A review of CBCS implementation revealed that few colleges have the resources to offer a wide range of innovative courses.

“We offer some skill-based courses under the CBCS System, but there is no inter-disciplinary option. All students in a department must opt for the same ‘elective’. We cannot afford to offer any real choice – we don’t have the faculty or infrastructure,” says a professor of a government college in Chennai.

“At the most, we can offer industrial chemistry for chemistry students or industrial statistics for statistics students.The government does not understand the strain on faculty workload,” he complained.

The situation is even worse in rural colleges, said Vice-Chancellors at the meeting.

The government had suggested a college cluster System, whereby students could take advantage of the choice provided at a neighbouring college. However, Mr. Ganesan admitted that this plan was mired in revenue-sharing wrangles.

“If a government college student wants to take a course at a self-financing college, who will pay? And how much will be paid? This needs to be discussed and sorted out,” he said.

Government colleges said the effort to accommodate outside students and offer a more flexible timetable in a cluster college System would be more trouble than it was worth.

A further meeting of principals of all arts and science and engineering colleges, as well as polytechnics, will be held on October 19 to discuss these practical difficulties.

They will also consider how best to expand the vocational certificate programme. The Directorate of Technical Education has been asked to compile information on the polytechnics which would collaborate with colleges for this scheme. The Vice-Chancellors will also meet again on October 18 to discuss the implementation of the academic audit proposal. The uniform syllabus proposal, the status of MoUs with foreign universities, and the implementation of various Government Grant Schemes will also be discussed further.