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Scholar Support Programme (SSP)

 

Introduction


The Scholar Support Programme, part of the ‘New Initiatives in Higher Education’ initiated by the Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Kerala aims at imparting additional support to students in curricular areas of weakness. The pilot phase of the programme that has been initiated in the current academic year would target the First semester Degree programme (B.A./B.Sc/B.Com) being offered by the four Universities of the State viz., Kerala, MG, Calicut and Kannur Universities. Subjects in which additional curricular support  would be offered  have been  selected based  on a results analysis work carried out based on results from the affiliated Colleges of Kerala (Govt. and aided).

Results analysis work – for the determination of weak subjects


The results analysis work involved statistical analysis of the end semester University Examination results of the regular and non-self financing courses of affiliated colleges (Government and aided colleges) of the Kerala, M.G., Calicut and Kannur Universities.  Dr. K.M. Abraham IAS, Principal Secretary (Higher Education and Social Welfare) to the Govt. of Kerala appointed a two member team comprising Dr. K.P. Jaikiran  as Nodal Co ordinator  (Assistant Professor in Geology) and Dr. T. A. Anand (Assistant Professor in Hindi) to work under  the  supervision and guidance of Dr. P.K. Velayudhan, Additional Director of Collegiate Education, Kerala. The team visited the four Universities and interacted with the office of the Controller Examinations and collected data pertaining to the newly introduced Choice Based Credit and Semester System (CBCSS) from the respective Computer Centres.  Due to the Kerala University’s late joining  of the  CBCSS in  2010  and  the  available digital  data  there,  results of the  first and  second semesters of the B.A/B.Sc/B.Com/BBA programmes were considered for the analysis.


Major programmes were selected from the first and second semester B.A/B.Sc/B.Com/BBA   of the Kerala, Calicut, Kannur and MG Universities. The results data from the University of Kerala pertains to 2010 and 2011 examinations, that from the others relate to the 2009 and 2010 Examinations. The list of programmes selected for the analysis is given below:
B.A.English, Malayalam, Hindi, Sanskrit, Economics, Political Science and History
B.Sc Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Botany and Zoology
B.Com and BBA

Methodology


The procedure  adopted  for the analysis involved calculation of percentage  grades and weighted scores for each  subject  of a  programme  (College wise)  and  determination of composite indices for each programme  based  on  subject  wise  weighted  scores.  The methodology developed by Iyengar and Sudarshan (1982) for the calculation of Composite Index from multivariate data was used.  The value of weighted score varies between 5 (where all students get E grade) and 35 (Where all students get A grade).  The value of Composite Index varies between 0 and 1 and is useful for ranking colleges based on performance in a programme.  While the indices help to determine paper wise student performance in different colleges, the composite index is a good tool for benchmarking the colleges.

The Scholar Support Programme – Resource person selection and design workshop


The  Scholar  Support  Programme  -  pilot  phase   2012  would  focus  upon  40  subjects  from  the undergraduate programme in four Universities in Kerala and provide additional curricular support to a selected group of students  through  the  teachers  handling respective subjects  in the  Colleges.   The additional support would include video lectures of expert teachers based on syllabi, additional reading material and question bank provided through a web portal.


The immediate task to be carried out in this direction is content creation in the selected subjects for which a pool of resource persons has to be created.  Resource person selection is one of the prime tasks to be carried out since the success of the entire programme depends upon it.  As the programme is a focused one aiming special coaching for students in weak subject areas, the role of the Resource persons is considerable. The Resource person through his classes has to perform the multiple tasks of generating interest in students in the concerned subjects, delivering content and also carrying out an evaluation.  Creation of a panel of expert teachers (both in service and recently retired faculty members) to act as resource persons is the immediate task ahead of us.

Resource Person – responsibilities


The organization of a design workshop for the resource persons would be the next task ahead of the team. The workshop would draw the broad contours of the programme as well as give a clear picture about the guidelines to be followed during creation and delivery of content and assessment tools.


1.  The candidates selected under the Programme must be from the first semester of the Under Graduate Programme.


2.  A college should select a maximum of 6 subjects and a maximum of 50 students under the Programme. The selection of the subjects should be done  at the  college level. One of the subjects to be identified must be English (Part I) for which 10 students may be selected. The other subjects may be identified as per the needs of the college and students and based on ‘Results Analysis work for the Scholar Support Programme- Programme wise weighted scores’, published at  www.collegiateedu.kerala.gov.in.  Eight students may be identified for each of these 5 subjects.


3.  If it is not possible to identify the subjects from those provided in the study report, related subjects of Core/Complementary/Language courses may identified by the college council.   All efforts should be made to identify 6 subjects even if there is only limited number of courses in the college.


4.  A student should be included only for one subject other than English


5.  The marks in the qualifying examination should be the criterion for selection of students.


6.  Although it has been specified that those with marks below 60% only in the qualifying examination is to be included under the Programme, it may not be always possible to get students satisfying this criterion.  In such cases, students   may be selected from among those having the lowest percentage of marks in the qualifying examination.


7.  The subjects selected, the students   identified and the list of Faculty members engaging the classes should be intimated to the Directorate of Collegiate Education at the earliest. The time schedule for the conduct of classes under the Programme should also be intimated.


8.  There should be 20 sessions, each of one hour duration for each subject identified. Of this 10 may be in the first semester and 10, in the second semester.


9.  Question bank for the various subjects under the Programme as per the University pattern will be provided to the colleges in due course. They will also be made available at www.collegiateedu.kerala.gov.in under the link ‘New Initiatives’.


10.Printed materials (notes)  are  to  be  given to  students  of BPL  families included in the programme.  The cost for preparing the materials can be met   from the   funds earmarked   for providing printed materials.  If sufficient students of BPL families cannot be identified, the materials may be given to students from economically weak families based on the annual income.


11.Details regarding the  Honorarium for the  Co-ordinator, allotments for stationary and miscellaneous expenses will be intimated to the colleges.