St Joseph’s College of Commerce is undoubtedly one of the top Commerce colleges in the country.
That is why it is the first place we sought admission to,” say the girls of SJCC who make up a small but proactive and vibrant part of the student population of the college.
It’s not easy for girls to gain admission here however. The cut-off percentage of marks is higher (90 per cent as compared to boys’ 85 per cent in the general category) and there are a sizeable number of girls vying for a very limited number of seats.
“Yes we do have a higher cut-off percentage for girls,” says principal Fr Daniel
But before anyone goes on to scream ‘discrimination’, he clarifies the reason behind the policy.
“Girls have several all girls’ Catholic colleges in the City where they can gain admission quite easily. They offer full-fledged Commerce degree courses. Boys, on the other hand, are limited to just SJCC and Christ University as far as Catholic institutions go.”
What do the girls feel? “At first I thought the policy was unfair but I realised that it makes sense at the end of the day. Although we form just 30 per cent of the student body, we not only participate in the general activities of the college but have a whole range of programmes exclusively for girls,” says Jemma Saldanha, a student council member. Benazir, a second year student, opted for SJCC after completing her PUC in National College because she wanted to enter a college specialising in Commerce.
Shifa Chinoy will be graduating soon and looks back on her three years here as an enriching learning experience on many different levels.
“The SJCC brand is a big factor when it comes to placements. In fact, we are the envy of our peers in other institutions because even in the worst case scenario, our seniors managed to get pretty good jobs. Also being autonomous, the teaching standards and accountability for both staff and students are high compared to other undergraduate colleges,” she says, adding “We just started a softball team which has girls and boys playing in the same team together — a one-of-a-kind sports initiative.”
Esther, another student, says, “After completing my ISC from Bishop Cottons, I was confident that the same demanding academic standards would be maintained since the college is autonomous. A degree from an autonomous college like SJCC carries more weight that generic university colleges.”
“Girls are a good influence in the college and it is important that girls and boys learn to mix and interact with each other in a healthy fashion before they go out into the world. We have rules and regulations about dress code and norms of behaviour but they are more guidelines as we treat our students like responsible young adults,” adds Fr Daniel.