The academic session for vocational courses at 15 institutions to be developed as community colleges would start from the first week of September.
This decision was taken at a meeting of the education department and principals of the 15 colleges on Tuesday. Education department principal secretary Amarjeet Sinha and special secretary Sanjeevan Sinha attended the meeting.
As the courses would be job-oriented, Bihar Industries Association president KPS Keshri also attended the meeting.
Sanjeevan said: “The academic session at all the community colleges would start from the first week of September. All the courses would be affiliated with Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU). Each college would have two one-year courses. Twenty students would be taken in each course.”
The colleges have been asked to prepare the draft regulation (including syllabus, fee structure etc.) for the courses. These would be sent to the AKU soon.
Students would be awarded a diploma after completing the course. They would have to pay Rs 6,000 over two semesters. In the second week of June this year, the education department had sent two representatives of each college to Chennai for training.
The representatives attended a training programme at the Indian Centre for Research and Development of Community Education from June 10 to 15.
Three colleges in Patna have been selected for the community college programmes. These are Patna Women’s College, JD Women’s College and AN College (see graphic).
Patna Women’s College principal Doris D’Souza said: “It is good that the government has finally decided to start community colleges. It will help promote job-oriented courses.”
Other institutions that have been selected are Rajendra College, Chhapra; Gaya College; LS College, Muzaffarpur, RK College, Madhubani; MS College, Motihari; CM Science College, Darbhanga; and RM College, Saharsa.
The Centre will provide funds for running the courses. These will be directly credited to the accounts of the community colleges.
Sources in the education department said the courses offered by the community colleges would be very different from vocational courses offered by universities in the state at present.
A senior officer of the education department, wishing anonymity, said: “Apart from the low expenditure, students can also expect a lot of flexibility while pursuing these courses.”
For instance, there is no age bar for taking admission to these courses. The minimum qualifying criteria is Intermediate (Class XII). They would be selected on the basis of their marks and interviews.