Getting a coveted engineering seat involves students having to score well in their board exams and getting a good rank in entrance exams. But of late, an increasing number of students are finding it a challenge to continue studying engineering.
After taking up engineering, some students are deciding to drop out midway and pursue B.A. or B.Com through distance education instead.
B.C. Mylarappa, director, Directorate of Distance Education, BangaloreUniversity, said at least 200 candidates who had enrolled for B.A. and B.Com distance education courses for 2018-2019 were those who decided to give up engineering as they were unable to cope up with it. “They get pressured into pursuing engineering… But after a semester or a year, they realise they are not cut out for engineering and drop out,” he said.
Prof. Mylarappa added that these candidates chose B.A. and B.Com as the courses allow them to work part time. He also said that majority of those enrolled for distance education programmes were from socially and economically weaker sections.
One candidate who enrolled for B.A. after deciding to drop out after the second semester said: “I was not inclined towards engineering. But my parents said it was lucrative, so I decided to join the course. I decided to drop out of against my parents’ will. But I realised that I needed a degree to have any job prospects. So I thought enrolling for a B.A. course would be my best bet.”
H.N. Jagannath Reddy, Registrar (Administration) of Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), said that almosy 5% of the students enrolled for engineering drop out owing to several factors, including lack of financial support at home, inability to cope with studies, or having joined engineering only because of pressure from friends and family. “A majority who drop out are from rural areas. They later take up other courses so they can get a degree and earn a livelihood,” he said.
Another official of Bangalore University said B.A. and B.Com, which are traditional courses, are preferred by students from rural backgrounds. “Students who are also preparing for competitive examinations pick these courses as they will give them ample time and help them focus on preparing for the exams,” the official added.
As many as 967 candidates have registered for the B.A. programme, while 357 have registered for B.Com. The other popular programmes are M.A. in Kannada (359) and M.A. in English (250). The least popular are postgraduate diploma courses, certificate courses, and BBM programmes.