The examination season brings about a change in college campuses. The otherwise buzzing corridors now bear a more sombre look with students rushing to catch up on notes and heading to classrooms for revision lectures and submitting presentations. This is also the time when groups of students claim sections of corridors or empty classrooms, helping one another with studies, projects and presentations.
Termed as mentors or buddies, many colleges have seen a rise in the number of senior students helping juniors with studies. With colleges either busy with internal tests or HSC preliminary examinations, the purpose of these groups is to help one another do well in college as well as examinations.
H R College, Churchgate, follows a ‘buddy system’ where the academically stronger students team up with weaker classmates or a junior to help them with the syllabus.
“This system works so well that more and more students are benefitting from it every passing year. Students find it easier to confide with a fellow student than a teacher,” said Deepika Bhatia, vice principal of the junior college section of the college.
Similarly, at Nagindas Khandwala College in Malad, the idea of study groups has been introduced for the arts stream.
“While we have teachers conducting remedial classes for the weaker students, there’s also these study groups where students help one another with various subjects,” said principal Ancy Jose, who added that while teachers contribute one hour of their time daily to the project, students end up sitting in groups till evening, sharing notes and other study material.
Other colleges have been promoting the mentorship program where students from senior batches help the new entrants in first year batches, ease into the new atmosphere.
“First year students often tend to be apprehensive and are new to the world of projects and presentations so we form groups where a second year student is a mentor to ten first year students and helps them throughout the year,” said Yash Shah, a bachelor of management studies student of UPG College, Vile Parle.
‘Not only TextBook buddies’
The mentors not only help first year students with studies but also help them put together their curriculum vitae, in case students want to apply for internships during vacations.
While in the beginning, it was teachers who started mentorship programmes for new students, they realised it was better to involve older students in this process. Along with regular academic help, these mentors also help the younger lot with other personal problems.