IQAC Best Practices
ST. THOMAS COLLEGE (AUTONOMOUS), THRISSUR
Best Practice 1:
Title of the Practice: Center of excellence
Objectives of practice: Create a culture of excellence in academics and extracurricular activities
The Context: Fostering global competency among students through quality teaching and learning measures along with opportunities for capacity building of individuals is the key to success and personality development of students in all aspects. A dynamic environment is provided in college to strengthen the urge to excel in all aspects related to the curriculum.
- Several departments are providing coaching to prepare for competitive exams such as UGC NET/JRF, CAT, JAM and Placement. Collaboration with stake holders of other higher education institutes has served as a catalyst for enrollment of students from other institutes as well to attend coaching classes in our college. Periodically, online tests are provided to students to allow selfevaluation and build their confidence to appear for competitive exams.
- In order to expand the scope of learning experience, St. Thomas eLearning Platform (STEP) was launched which provides an additional learning resource along with regular classroom experience.
- Scholar support program and remedial classes have been implemented to enable slow learners to keep pace with academic developments in the institute.
- Efforts were taken to stimulate congenial environment for the promotion of placement among graduating students.
- Sports are an integral part of the college curriculum. It has significantly contributed to skill and personality development of students. The college management and PTA have contributed significantly in addition to aid from government to strengthen the field and track activities.
Evidence of Success:
- 72 students qualified UGC NET/JRF, 4 students qualified GATE and another 8 students have qualified other national/international like SET, CAT and JAM.
- Average Pass percentage of students in the college is more than 86.
- The number of students placed/going for higher studies is very large.
- 240 number of students benefited from Remedial Classes for slow learners through the scholar support program and classewise programs. A joint effort between teachers and students enabled the students to pass the subsequent semester with better results.
- As compared to previous year, there has been an increase in number of students who benefited from the placement drive.
- The college won the overall championship at DZone Youth Festival of Calicut University.
- Western band of the college won Second Prize in the SouthZone University Youth Festival and the First Prize in National championship in the National InterUniversity Youth Festival held at Mohali.
- In sports, the college was on Third Position in overall championship apart from several National and International laurels in various events.
Students find it difficult to strike a balance between academics and extracurricular activities. Currently, placements are oriented mainly towards banking and software sectors. It should be extended to other areas as well.
Financial aid is required for trainers to prepare students to compete in cultural and sports activities at district and national level. Sports equipments and facilities have to be implemented. Space constraints need to be addressed.
Best Practice 2:
Title of the Practice: St. Thomas for Environment and Society (STES)
In order to develop sensitivity among students towards their community, gender and social equity along with a commitment to society, various extension programmes have been initiated wherein students play a pivotal role to address social and environmental issues. The initiatives are an integral part of holistic personality development of students, particularity in shaping them into responsible citizens of India. Service to society by the students is a gentle gesture to express gratitude towards the benefits given to students and enhance the capacity building of individuals.
Apart from providing a congenial academic environment to students, the academia is also a torchbearer which enlightens the students towards their social responsibilities and accountability. As an institute committed to transforming the youth through holistic education, St. Thomas College is committed to reach out to the society at large and contribute to the wellbeing and betterment of social conditions. ‘St. Thomas for Environment and Society’ (STES) is thus a collective initiative of students and staff of the college to understand social as well as environmental problems hounding the immediate local community in Thrissur. As a best practice, social and environmental issues are integrated with academics to find new means of identifying, analyzing and finding practical solutions for pertinent problems.
Sustainable initiatives have enabled the college to inculcate social accountability among students and develop empathy for underprivileged sections of the society. The blood donation programmes organized by the students and staff for Blood Bank, Indian Medical Association, Thrissur and for deserving patients in the Jubilee Mission Medical College, Government Medical College and District Hospital is an exemplary social service practice. The Counselling Centre situated in the Jubilee Block, under the auspices of the Department of Social Work is an innovative move forward to provide counselling to the needy in the society.
To help students without a proper shelter, the college started a programme named Sahapadikkoru Veedu (House for a Classmate). For this, every Friday during the class teachers’ hour, students voluntarily contribute money to build a house for homeless students in the college. The programme is underway and we have collected a sizeable amount for this. Many students donate lunch packets every Friday and these are distributed to the nearby hospitals and orphanages and the food reach the needy in time by Jesus Youth volunteers.
Visiting old age homes and homes of physically challenged individuals is another activity carried out for students under the guidance of teachers. Every month students and staff of the college visit old age homes, observe and understand their living conditions and help them lead a better life. Some of the social welfare centers visited by our students are Athani Peace Home, St. Joseph’s Home, Pullazhi, Christeena Home, Pullazhi and Damien Institute, Mulayam and Government Old Age Home, Ramavarmapuram.
International days like World AIDS Day, Human Rights Day, Alzheimers Day, World Cerebral Palsy Day, Women’s Day, World Environment Day, Old Age Day, World Mental Health Day, World Disability Day, and Social Work Day are observed in the campus and at times extended beyond the campus. The various programmes associated with these days, like street plays, rallies, camps, distribution of leaflets, quizzes, exhibitions, seminars and conferences are conducted in order to impart awareness about social issues to students and general public.
In tune with the mission and vision of the founders of the college the AICUF (All India Catholic University Federation), visits prison houses, old age homes and foundling homes, and organizes awareness programmes for tribal communities.
In 2018, Kerala was devastated due to flood. The college initiated a social extension drive “koode” (literal meaning: with you) to provide shelter, food, clothes, toiletries and medical facilities to the flood affected people. The college opened its doors to accommodate the distressed people and relief camp was activated in our indoor stadium.
Both staff and students are also actively engaged in palliative care activities. During flood, the inmates of Anna Maria Old Age Home, Nedupuzha were shifted to Galilee with the help of our staff and students as water has entered the Old Age Home.
Apart from social issues, the staff and students have also taken initiatives to create environment consciousness. Hundreds of samplings were planted in various panchayats in and around Town area to sensitize the general public particularly after the flood. The flood had severely affected the flora in several areas in Thrissur due to water clogging. Solar Panel infrastructure worth Solar energy worth 17 KW was installed on building rood. Rain water harvesting is exercised via 8 specially made rain harvesting wells. Green day was observed by staff and students, Novehicle day was observed when the staff and students used cycles/ walk / publication commutation for transportation that day.
Evidence of Success:
The various programmes under St. Thomas’ for Society initiative have been successful in imparting humanitarianism and compassion among students. We have found that these programmes have been highly successful in raising the awareness of students and public regarding community life. The pass percentage of students of St. Anne’s Orphanage was 100 percentage for SSLC in 20182019. The patients and poor people who have benefited from various outreach programmes themselves are testimony to the success of those programmes. The observance of various international days has been instrumental in spreading awareness to the general public. The overwhelming response from the society and those who received help from the College is an important factor that encourages the students to carry forward with their activities. Rainwater harvesting has provided with selfsufficiency in the use of water. Solar Energy has reduced the electricity bills of the college.
Problems Encountered and Resources Required:
Usually general public has a tendency to belittle the awareness programmes conducted by students. Therefore, it had been a challenge in the beginning to involve general public to these activities. The initial cost of solar infrastructure and rainwater harvesting has been exorbitant.