Coaching for competitive exams is usually an expensive affair, but Osmania University (OU) has come to the aid of its students by providing free training for competitive exams to nearly 2,000 students. The university recently inaugurated the Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC) and students from all colleges under the Osmania University can get training for competitive exams like Group I, Group II, NET, bank entrance exams and other public examinations. “Following the directions of the University Grants Commission (UGC), which made it mandatory to have an EOC in all universities, OU now provides educational empowerment to students. This is one of the biggest training centres in Andhra Pradesh,” says arts college principal S Mallesham. Since majority of the students in OU are from rural areas, spoken English training is also being offered to the students. The training programme takes place between 6am and 9am and again from 3pm to 9pm.
“Most of us here come from rural areas and are from poor economic backgrounds. We have to pay anything between `15,000 to `45,000 for coaching in other training centres, so this opportunity to learn within the university itself free of cost has come as a blessing,” says G Dayakar, who is perusing his MA and preparing for the Group I exam. The spoken English classes are a boon for many students who earlier found it difficult to even frame a complete sentence. “I come from a Telugu medium school and prior to attending the spoken English classes I could not even frame a complete sentence. However, now I can speak English fluently. For any interview, communication skill is an important factor and now I am confident I will be able to ace any interview,” says E Roja, an MSc student. OU authorities say that their aim is to not just see students clear their examinations, but also to provide all-round development. “We are not training students to just clear the competitive exams but also want them to be good individuals by building their character. To do this we have introduced personality development classes. Since pupils here study for long hours, we ensure that every student gets a counselling session so that his/her mind is free of stress,” says P Vishnudev, EOC coordinator.
To train the students, the university authorities have hired expert faculty from other institutions, apart from its own senior faculty. Nearly 60 per cent of the experts who train OU students are from other universities. The UGC has granted `2 lakh for this programme and apart from this, OU has also pumped in money from various other schemes to ensure that all its students benefit from the training. Encouraged by the interest shown in the programme, the management hopes that majority of the achievers in various public examinations will be from Osmania University.