Why colleges in Chennai are planning to conduct bridge courses for the first year students?

As the Class 12 state board exam results were announced recently based on the first-of-its-kind evaluation criteria, the colleges in the state are gearing up to begin the admission process to admit the students for the undergraduate courses. The Class 12 board exams were cancelled this year in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the students were declared pass. The government has framed criteria to award the Class 12 marks to the students based on their performances and marks of Class 10 and Class 11 including the practical and internal tests. 

As the Class 12 students had settled down for the new normal by attending their classes online for the past one year owing to the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions, the colleges in Chennai are planning to offer two-week-long bridge courses for the freshers as the institutions worry that the students may have slipped out of the Class 12 syllabus in the absence of physical classes. The colleges are also aiming to give a refreshing session to the students instead of jumping directly on the undergraduate syllabus. 

The colleges in Chennai have sounded sceptical over the understanding ability and skills to cope up with the undergraduate level. Though there is no sign from the state government in reopening the colleges, the institutions are planning to conduct the bridge courses to revise basic concepts as per their higher secondary group and UG course before bringing them into the regular syllabus of the undergraduate program. Such a bridge course would be first in the state and the institutions say that it's imperative for the students to have a good start in colleges. 

According to a news agency, Thomas Amirtham, the principal of Loyola College in Chennai said, "Bridge course is essential for the first-year students. We will have to quickly revise the Class 12 syllabus based on the programmes they (students) have chosen. We will educate them with fundamentals if they are required. Students will struggle to understand if we teach them the syllabus without providing the fundamentals." Apart from Loyola, several prominent colleges in Chennai are also planning to conduct bridge courses. 

Colleges like DG Vaishnav College, Madras Christian College, Guru Nanak College, and Women's Christian College are planning to conduct bridge courses for the freshers. According to reports, the colleges have asked the Tamil Nadu government to permit them to conduct bridge courses offline, physically within the campus. The colleges have asserted that they will adhere to the Covid-19 protocols. 

The Class 12 board exam results were released on Monday by Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi. The marks were based on the criteria framed by the committee and 8,16,473 students were declared pass and 1,656 students had failed to clear the evaluation criteria. The re-exams will be conducted for the students who didn't attend the schools as per the criteria including Class 11 absentees.  1,656 students fall under this category and they will be appearing for re-exams to clear the higher secondary grade.

The students can download their mark sheets on July 22 from 11 am post which they can prepare for applying for colleges. The online application and admission process in the colleges will commence from July 26. Apart from witnessing a pile of applications, the colleges will also be facing more challenges in bringing the students back to the pre-pandemic world.   It would be an ordeal for both the students and colleges and they may find it very difficult to a crucial transformation from being confined to being combined with other students in their physical classes.