Prejudice against certain courses

Prejudice against certain courses

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Preparations begin years in advance, with advanced coaching classes, extra-test papers and nightly studying sessions that go on for hours.

But mention an interest in history, or accounts and one is met with a blank expression, fostered by the general perception that humanities and commerce programmes are options only for students who weren’t lucky enough to get the marks required for a science course.

Many believe that these subjects have no scope later on in terms of job opportunities and compensation; hence, they are reserved for the ‘low-scorers’. This prejudice is amply visible when it comes to the selection criteria for different courses at the college level.

Although a student requires extremely high marks to get admitted into a science stream, it seems that the commerce courses are relatively easier to get into, and seats in the humanities courses are practically open to anyone who wants them. However, Mithila, who is studying commerce subjects like economics and maths at Mount Carmel College, doesn’t feel that this makes sense. “Ten of my classmates dropped the course within the first two semesters because they found the level of maths extremely difficult,” she says.

“It isn’t true that commerce subjects are easier than the science ones,” she adds. Navendu, who is doing her MA in Sociology from Christ University, feels that these cut-offs aren’t of any consequence. “In a way, it is good for students who want to stu­dy humanities that the selection criteria aren’t so string­ent,” she says.

“These are subjective courses, which are very difficult to score in,” she adds.  Ask Navendu about the general perception that humanities students don’t have many career options, and she becomes indignant. “There are several avenues open to us,” she says, firmly. “We can become teachers, researchers or work in NGOs. It all dep­ends on what one wants to do.”

Pronita, who is pursuing a Bachelors in Computer Applications in Christ University, agrees with this view. “I chose science because I have more of an aptitude for it,” she says. “But humanities and commerce are equally competitive fields. In fact, studying humanities requires an entirely different skill-set; one has to be creative and be very good at writing, which I’m not.”

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