India is making efforts to think, behave and make plans that are innovative, creative and are on the upsurge.
Chennai schools and colleges introducing unique courses and career options such as bag designing, footwear making in colleges or even legal and theatre studies in schools bears a testimony to this fact.
Could you have ever imagined that you can get a degree in performing arts and crafts or niche courses in humanities could also be a part of the education system in India wherefore, you can make great careers out of it? No, right?
But, now with unpredictable off-beat courses offered by Chennai educational institutes such as Kalakshetra and Dakshin Chitra and integrated courses on arts by IIT, Madras and colleges affiliated to the universities in Chennai, it is a possibility to pursue your career in a completely different direction, and yes, it is a welcome change keeping in mind the current trends and times.
Many students have been interested in enrolling themselves for visual communication in Madras Christian College, stressing the relevance of ad agencies, presentations and more interactive methods of communications in all fields.
The state universities in the past few years, have come up with fascinating and interesting courses in food processing, footwear making, bag designing, computer mathematics and even insurance subjects.
It is of even greater importance that schools in Chennai too have decided to make their mark in this field, with many offering film-making courses, cinematography and photography. However, these courses, more than film- making have mostly been based on designing ad campaigns for films, video-making and giving lessons on the state of extended media and the innovative techniques of collating videos for storytelling purposes.
Chennai colleges are too emphasizing much on revamping their course infrastructure by introducing plant biotechnology, food service and nutrition management replacing those traditional, conventional subjects such as home science and botany.
Not only do these colleges introduce unique courses but they also cater to vocational, placement-based education especially for degrees in BBA, B.Sc. and BCA as apparently, most students choose to pursue them. However, the speciality now is that the B.Com. Cost Accounting course would now offer students with a professional degree and coaching from the institute itself, and would not require you to wait for a year after graduation to finally get placed.
In the field of Engineering however, the interests for instrumentation and mechatronics have not gained much warmth and popularity from the students. People mostly prefer courses in Computer Science or Electronic Engineering or even for that matter Civil and Mechanical Engineering. The students, it seems like to have it specific and clear before they even enrol themselves.
There are less of students now who are purely and genuinely interested in science subjects such as botany, zoology and physics. Maybe this is the reason why Chennai schools and colleges have come up with such multi-faceted courses and unique subjects as Legal Studies and Theatre Studies for its Class 11th students.
However, it seems that India has not warmed up to the idea of opting for such subjects as not even 20 per cent of the students have chosen these subjects, thus making these courses as good as non-viable and even forcing closure upon them. CBSE schools had faced much difficulty in shutting down these courses as after they had appointed faculty it was not possible to end their employment just as the interest for these courses had been rare.
The Chennai school authorities had mentioned that these off-beat courses are more popular in the northern part of the country and South India is still not open to the idea of non-conservative courses and are still living in the era of engineering and medicine.
While CBSE came up with 186 different courses ranging from Radiation Physics to Bakery Science for class 11th and 12th students, schools in the state have mostly witnessed children still opting for science and commerce streams.
Even schools that had introduced these unconventional courses have had to see close-down because of lack of the number of students applying for them.
This lack of patronage among students and their parents for these courses even led a course on Knowledge Traditions and Practices of India in The Vel’s Vidyashram Senior Secondary School to be shut down, that had once seen much fan following, especially as the CBSE Chairman was the one to launch the course in the city.
The city had also come up with interesting course combinations such as Economics, Maths, Science and Physics or Business Studies instead of Maths replacing the traditional choice of Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English or Computer Science instead of Maths or Biology for the State Board stream.
However, courses like Photography and Home Science have not done well and this has made it doubtful whether these off-beat courses are doing any good to the city’s schools and colleges, given the smattering of students.