As my son completed Std 10th from an English medium school, choosing the right college for 12th is the biggest decision we must make, as it can significantly impact his future career. In Odisha, there are plenty of options available, such as government +2 colleges as well as private institutions. While many private institutions, such as Allens and Aakash, are big national names, I do not want to spend mindlessly just looking at advertisements. Instead, I want to make an informed decision that aligns with our best interests and career aspirations.
We have spent countless hours calling friends and relatives to hear about options, what others are doing, and what advice they have for us. Unfortunately, the more we speak to people, the more difficult it becomes to make a decision. Here is what we have researched so far.
Government Junior Colleges
There are numerous good +2 colleges in Odisha, such as BJB Junior College and Revenshaw Junior College, which provide quality education at an affordable cost. I think there are many more great colleages still maintianing their names: College of Basic Science, R.D Woman’s college (though it is for women only), P.N college, Dhenkanal College, Jupiter science College, KIIT junior college and the list goes on. They have experienced faculty, well-equipped laboratories, and good infrastructure. The admission process is transparent and based on merit, meaning that students who have performed well in their 10th exams have a good chance of getting admission.
However, we are a bit uncomfortable pursuing Govt Colleges mainly because a lot of students, even less meritorious ones, are choosing entrance-oriented private/residential colleges. And everyone says faculty in govt colleges are not much interested to bring out the best in the students. They know they would get the salaries regardless of their dedication or quality.
The Need for Separate Tuition
Another reason we are reluctant to go to Govt colleges is that tuition appears to be a must these days regardless of the regular classes. It seems a bit too much to manage if a student attends classes in one college and then has to attend tuition classes in different places or institutions.
Brainwashing by Private Institutions
Private institutions like coaching brands and residential colleges have spread all across the state and use a lot of scare tactics to lure students into paying huge sums of money for intermediate education. They are creating a sense of fear and urgency among students and their parents by suggesting that they cannot get into a good professional college or secure good rank in entrance exams otherwise.
We do not want to fall prey to their marketing tactics and instead want to make an informed decision. Higher education is not just about getting the degree; it is about acquiring knowledge, skills, and developing personality that will go a long way. So, we want to choose a +2 college that aligns with our interests and career aspirations. We do not want to get caught up in the frenzy of marketing tactics of private institutions and will opt for a college that offers good enough quality of education without charging insane amounts of money.
The calls, research, and chat-chat are still going on. We will weigh the pros and cons of each college and decide based on merit rather than getting swayed by marketing tactics. Please share your comments especially if you have advice for students stuck in the dilemma of choosing the right college. (- Nirupa)