‘Parents are not allowed beyond this point’ — reads a notice put up at the end of the long corridor of Lady Shri Ram College that houses its administrative block. LSR is not alone.
While Gargi College has also put up a similar notice, other colleges are at their wits’ end dealing with neurotic parents who accompany their children for the admission process. Admission is family business in Delhi University and parents or at least elder siblings accompany students — mostly girls — while they submit their forms.
While this is fine with the colleges during the pre-admission phase, this leads to overcrowding during the final admissions. “Parents are usually much more anxious than students,” said Kanika Khandelwal, media coordinator, LSR. “We had put up the notice during English and Journalism entrance tests as parents were so anxious that they were trying to look inside the exam hall to find out how their wards were doing,” she said.
Khandelwal said parents are strictly not allowed to enter the admission or interaction rooms and are seated in the auditorium where they can meet counsellors for queries. “Not only do parents add to the crowd but add to the students’ anxiety. They hesitate in front of their parents,” she said. “We have put up a notice asking parents not to enter the admission area and sit in the seminar hall so it does not delay the admission process,” said Gargi principal Meera Ramchandran.
“Parents want to come right inside. They want to know the cut-off so we cannot keep them outside the gates. They are only allowed to come up to the cut-off boards and our student volunteers guide them to the hall after that,” she said. “We allot classrooms for admission to each course and cannot allow so many people inside them,” she said.
Ramchandran also said it becomes difficult for a student to freely make her choice when parents accompany them. Parents have their own reasons for accompanying their children.
"They are just out of school and do not even know their way around, how can they handle it all alone. In a year, however, they will be mature enough to tackle everything themselves, said Prakash Saha, a resident of Saket who had come with his daughter at Sri Venkateswara College. “Outstation Parents often say how can they give so much cash to their children for admission. If they cannot trust them now, how are they going to leave them here with us,” Khandelwal said. Principal A.S. Reddy of Sri Venkateswara College, however, has a very different take on this.
“I strongly feel parents should be part of the admission process and accompany students. We also want to know the parents of students we are taking in,” he said. Reddy argues that parents often differ with children on the choice of courses, so if they come together, both can be counselled. “We also counsel parents along with students on career prospects of courses and try to learn their aptitude. We insist that parents accompany them while filling up forms too,” he said.