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Education Plus    Kerala   

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Coaching key to success

Professor Thomas' advice to students: an interest in the subjects, systematic preparation and positive thinking will ensure success.


His institution does not sport a nameplate.

But ask anyone in Thrissur where P. C. Thomas coaches students for entrance examinations, and you can be sure of being directed to a row of white buildings at the Ambakkadan Junction. The campus has a pious atmosphere. Prof. Thomas is an active catechist and motivator. And the motto of the coaching institute is: "To God, through education''.

The small tuition centre, with four students, that Prof. Thomas, a former physics teacher at St. Thomas College, started in 1965 has grown to become one of the premier entrance coaching institutes in South India.

With 16,000 students on the roll, of which 4,000 have enrolled for the residential course, the institute is bigger than most of the colleges in the State.

In all, 65 teachers train 160 batches of students who come from all districts, neighbouring States and the Gulf. The administrative wing includes 120 employees.

The institute has also helped boost business in other sectors. Just about every lodge in Thrissur is full months before the entrance examination. The institute gives students a list of 100 private lodges to choose from lest they are hoodwinked by `agents' who crowd the Ambakkadan junction.

How many students of Prof. Thomas have become engineers and doctors? "About 10,000 have become doctors and more than 20,000 engineers,'' he says.

He shows you greeting cards from students who made it to the professional colleges last year. There are cards from Thrissur Medical College, TDMC, Alappuzha, Jubilee Medical College, Pariyaram Medical College, Amala Medical College, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam Medical College, Pushpagiri Medical College, Kozhikode Medical College, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, Armed Forces Medical College, CMC, Vellore, CMC, Ludhiana, JIPMER, Pondicherry, and almost every other professional college in south India. What makes the institute special? "We are sincere to our work. The training is systematic,'' Prof. Thomas claims.

There is a test every day. The examination system is computerised. The answer sheets are scanned by three heavy-duty Optical Mark Readers (OMRs), each costing Rs. 7 lakhs, and the results are ready the same day. "By the time, a student finishes the course, he or she will have faced at least 300 mock entrance tests,'' Prof. Thomas says. The course has been meticulously planned. "I spend time motivating the students and preparing them for the lessons I'd compare it to scripting a film. If the script is detailed and well done, the shooting is easy,'' Prof. Thomas says.

His advice to students: an interest in the subjects, systematic preparation and positive thinking will ensure success.

K SANTHOSH

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