PUC is not the only option

Darinia Khongwir, TNN May 6, 2009, 11.46pm IST

BANGALORE: There are many other avenues that a student can pursue after Class X. In fact, career counsellors say many students who finish SSLC are not really equipped or inclined to handle pre-university college.

Counsellor Ameen-e-Mudassar said: "Students find SSLC very easy. When they reach PU, the course structure suddenly becomes very difficult and they are unable to cope with it. That is because there is no relation between what is taught up to Class 10 and in PU."

It is even more difficult for students to decide what they want to do after SSLC because there is no readily available information. "Lack of career counsellors in schools also leaves many confused and with nowhere to go except a PU college," he added.

Here's a look at what youngsters can opt for after SSLC.

POLYTECHNIC COLLEGES

After SSLC, you can study in a polytechnic for a three-year diploma course in engineering. These are similar to what is offered in regular engineering colleges and recognized by the AICTE. If you wish to get a degree in engineering, you can later join a college through lateral entry. Check the Karnataka Examination Authority's brochure for more details.

Apply to:

* Acharya Polytechnic, Peenya 1st Stage

* Adarsha Polytechnic, R T Nagar

* BSF Institute of Technology, Yelanhanka

DEFENCE

For those who do not have a technical bent of mind but still like to rough it out, there are options in defence. Getting into the National Defence Academy (NDA) is the most preferred option, and possible after Class X.

For Soldier General duties, a candidate needs to pass SSLC with a minimum of 45% marks in aggregate and 32% in each subject. The age limit is 17 to 21 years. Recruiting Office (HQ), Bangalore, covers Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Mysore, Kolar, Tumkur, Chikkaballapur, Ramanagaram, Mandya and Chamarajnagar districts.

TEACHER TRAINING

Teaching is a noble profession and the job is extremely gratifying. Montessori education, brainchild of Italian educator Maria Montessori, lays emphasis on the constructs and concepts of a particular subject. A teacher uses tools that help the student not just to know concepts, but also understand and internalize them for practical application.

"In the Montessori method, there is no blackboard teaching. It stresses on concretizing concepts with the help of materials and individual attention to the child," said Shamala Rao, director, Indian Montessori Training Centre, Bangalore.

Criterion required to receive training is Class 10 pass or its equivalent. "All they need is a good base in spoken and written English. Candidates are taught both for English- and Kannada-medium," added Rao.

The classes start from July 2 and the course is for 10 months. Those coming after Class 10 can teach children aged 2 to 6. For older ages, there are different levels of training.

In Bangalore, there are over 100 Montessori schools and the demand for teachers is increasing. "The Montessori method of teaching is far superior to other methods. It has also become fashionable for parents to send their children to Montessori," added Rao.

PARAMEDIC

This is a recession-proof career. When IT companies are laying off employees, the state's paramedical sector is hiring people by the dozens. There is a three-year diploma course to become a medical lab technician, dialysis technician, physiotherapist, optometrist, etc. Job openings are in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centres and special treatment centres.

Apply to:

* Bangalore Medical College

* Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital

* Baptist Hospital

* Hosmat Hospital Education Insitute

(List not exhaustive)

FINE ARTS

For those with an artistic bent, there are short-term courses in fine arts at Chitrakala Parishath. Students can opt for foundation courses in painting, applied arts, sculpture or visual arts. "We have one-year and two-year diploma courses in fine arts, including working with different media," said R H Kulkarni, professor, Chitrakala Parishath.

Apart from these short-term course, there are advanced ones for those who have completed PUC. "These courses are condensed versions of degree courses and there are many avenues open to students on completion. They can paint, sculpt, get jobs in the media or become photographers," he said.

FOREIGN LANGUAGES

Knowing more than one language has become a necessity today. Apart from learning about a new culture, knowing a foreign language is also highly lucrative. Though Mount Carmel College is the only degree college that offers French as a major subject, there are other centrs too.

French classes are offered at Alliance Francaise. The only criterion is that candidates have to be over 14 years of age. However, it does not provide any certification. "There are different levels of the programme. The duration is three months for up to Level 5. After that it is six months," said Vidya Suresh, Alliance Francaise.

Jyothi Venkatesh, HoD, department of foreign languages, Bangalore University, said those who know a foreign language have an edge over others in a world that is fast shrinking. "Multinational companies employ people proficient in at least one international language. There is a huge market requirement for such employees. They act as translators and interpreters when foreign clients visit," said Venkatesh.

"The French also have a very structured way of thinking. Learning the language can instill the same," added Suresh. She said that language skills kick-start other faculties of the mind that would have otherwise remained dormant.

According to Venkatesh, languages in demand are French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Portuguese. "With Nokia opening its offices here, Finnish too will soon be an asset," she said.


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