(iStock)
(iStock)

Is compulsory attendance for college students a solution or a symptom?

Updating syllabuses and teaching methods, allowing students to choose from a wider range of subjects, would likely be more effective, educationists say.
By Prakruti Maniar | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON MAY 02, 2018 08:16 PM IST

Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University recently made 75% attendance mandatory for students of all undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses. Across the country, institutes of higher learning have felt compelled to enforce such rules, if not for research courses then at least for undergrad and postgrad ones.

Academicians argue that if syllabuses were more relevant and engaging, and teaching methods more current, the struggles with attendance would not be so severe.

“Classroom learning in the age of the internet has to go beyond books, for which the teacher must step up,” says Joyanto Mukherjee, founder of education auditing company Tutored and Trained. “Forcing attendance is a clear sign that, for the most part, lecturers do not have faith in their teaching.”

Empty benches in a classroom are also an indication that the syllabus and exams are still dependent on rote learning. “In such cases, a teacher is not bringing anything extra to the course, and the student has no motivation to attend,” says Anamika Shrivastava, assistant professor at Jindal Global Law School.

Power to choose

The question to ask is not, ‘How can we force students to attend?’ but rather, “Why aren’t they coming to class?’, they argue.

Part of the answer lies in the templated approach to higher study, where a student is forced to pick a stream and then allowed very little leeway when it comes to subjects.

“I wanted to study a mix of engineering, management and law, and had to do separate courses over a span of seven years to make that happen,” says Satish Modh, director of Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai. “In such a system, a student ends up learning a lot of unnecessary subjects and that is when interest begins to flag.”

Trying to control discipline by way of attendance is refusing to recognise students at the postgraduate level as adults, adds Abhijit Gupta, associate professor of English at Jadavpur University. “They should learn that their actions will have consequences. That if they do not attend, it is their loss.”

Classrooms and teacher-student equations help learning to happen in a focused manner. “There should be a certain discipline to a student’s time at college,” says Modh. “They should spend time on campus, meet fellow students from diverse backgrounds, interact and develop soft skills like listening, debating, raising questions. All that comes from time spent in a classroom.”

The ideal solution would be to see the classroom experience improve not just at the top institutes, but across the board, the academicians say. “A policy change should introduce 50% attendance as mandatory, below which marks would be cut,” says Mukherjee. Meanwhile, individual teachers should work towards making classes more fun.

Long-term gain

N Shivakumar, business head at human resource consultancy firm Team Lease believes that workplaces have so far mirrored the imbalance of these higher education systems, with their focus on passive presence rather than active interest. “You just punch in and punch out at a certain hour,” he says, “but this is changing as the gig economy grows in India.”

There is a growing trend of freelancing, working part-time, on a project-by-project basis and working from home and this takes focus, dedication and time management — none of which is being inculcated in a higher-education system focused on rote learning and mere presence, Shivakumar adds. There must be more of a focus on collaboration, innovation and practical learning.

“When I was teaching Literature and Censorship last year, the class got to together and created a Wikipedia page on the subject, instead of just reading notes and opinions available online,” says Gupta of Jadavpur. Universities are still doing very little to accommodate this kind of 21st-century approach in a system that was designed hundreds of years ago.

“In both quantity and quality, our universities are not equipped to support the influx of students in higher education in the next decade. They have to start making changes now, to be prepared,” says Arun Nigavekar, former chairman of the University Grants Commission.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
For class 10, the science exam has been deferred to May 21. Earlier, it was scheduled for May 15. The mathematics exam which was scheduled for May 21, will now be held on June 2, according to the latest date sheet.(HT file)
For class 10, the science exam has been deferred to May 21. Earlier, it was scheduled for May 15. The mathematics exam which was scheduled for May 21, will now be held on June 2, according to the latest date sheet.(HT file)

CBSE revises board exam dates for few class 10, 12 subjects

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 07:59 PM IST
The Central Board of Secondary Education on Friday issued a revised board exam date sheet for a few subjects, including mathematics, commerce and physics, for classes 10 and 12.
Close
JEE Main is being conducted four times in 2021: February, March, April, and May. The exam will be held in 13 languages.
JEE Main is being conducted four times in 2021: February, March, April, and May. The exam will be held in 13 languages.

JEE Main 2021: Last minute tips to crack it like a topper

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 05:35 PM IST
With Phases II, III and IV of JEE Main 2021 almost breathing down the neck, here are some smart strategies that will help our aspiring engineers come out with flying colours.
Close
West Bengal Class 10 board exams 2021.(HT file)
West Bengal Class 10 board exams 2021.(HT file)

CBSE class 10 maths exam 2021: Top tips to boost your score

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:58 PM IST
The CBSE class 10 Maths exam almost knocking at the door. Here are some simple, easy-to-follow tips and tricks for students to crack it like a topper.
Close
The revised date sheet for CBSE 10th and 12th examination 2021 can be checked on the official website of the board.(Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times/For representation only)
The revised date sheet for CBSE 10th and 12th examination 2021 can be checked on the official website of the board.(Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times/For representation only)

CBSE Revised Date Sheet for 10th and 12th board exams 2021 released

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 04:47 PM IST
  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Friday released a revised date sheet for Class 10 and Class 12 board exams 2021.
Close
DSSSB Recruitment 2021: The various department under which recruitments will be made include: Delhi Jal Board, Directorate of Ayush, Delhi Transport Corporation and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, among many others.(PTI File)
DSSSB Recruitment 2021: The various department under which recruitments will be made include: Delhi Jal Board, Directorate of Ayush, Delhi Transport Corporation and Municipal Corporation of Delhi, among many others.(PTI File)

DSSSB Recruitment 2021: More than 1800 vacancies notified for various posts

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 01:58 PM IST
  • Delhi Subordinate Staff Selection Board on Thursday released an advertisement to fill more than 1800 vacancies under various departments under the Govt of NCT of Delhi.
Close
As a part of the initiative, the students of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Vikaspuri interacted with IAS Udit Prakash, the Director of education, and District Magistrate Neha Bansal.(HT File)
As a part of the initiative, the students of Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Vikaspuri interacted with IAS Udit Prakash, the Director of education, and District Magistrate Neha Bansal.(HT File)

Delhi govt organises session on UPSC exams, officers share tips and strategies

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:28 PM IST
The Delhi government on Thursday organised the third session of its initiative to create a better understanding of the UPSC exams among school students, during which they interacted with young civil service officers.
Close
WhatsApp India Head Abhijit Bose said,"Vahan has grown into a key contributor and driver of growth in the gig workforce.(File)
WhatsApp India Head Abhijit Bose said,"Vahan has grown into a key contributor and driver of growth in the gig workforce.(File)

Firm Vahan says placed 1 lakh blue, grey collared workers through WhatsApp API

PTI
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 12:31 PM IST
With blue and grey collar jobs back in demand, start-up placement firm Vahan on Friday said it has reached 1 lakh milestone of providing employment opportunities through its WhatsApp API enabled chatbot, Mitra.
Close
The Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test (TANCET) 2021 will be conducted on March 20 (Saturday) for MBA and MCA programmes, while for M.E. / M.Tech. / M.Arch. / M.Plan. the exam will be conducted on March 21 (Sunday).
The Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test (TANCET) 2021 will be conducted on March 20 (Saturday) for MBA and MCA programmes, while for M.E. / M.Tech. / M.Arch. / M.Plan. the exam will be conducted on March 21 (Sunday).

TANCET 2021 Hall Ticket released, here's direct link to download admit card

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 11:47 AM IST
  • Anna University has released the TANCET 2021 hall ticket/admit card on Friday March 5, 2021.
Close
Candidates who have appeared in the examination can check the OMR answer sheets and their recorded responses by visiting aissee.nta.nic.in.(HT file)
Candidates who have appeared in the examination can check the OMR answer sheets and their recorded responses by visiting aissee.nta.nic.in.(HT file)

AISSEE 2021: Sainik School Entrance answer key released, raise objections now

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 11:01 AM IST
  • The National Testing Agency has released the answer key of All India Sainik Schools Entrance Examination (AISSEE) 2021
Close
Indian Institute of Technology Madras, in Chennai. (File photo)
Indian Institute of Technology Madras, in Chennai. (File photo)

12 Indian institutes among 100 in QS World Ranking: Here’s the list

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Sameer
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 10:49 AM IST
QS Subject Rankings are published each year based on research quality and accomplishments, academic reputation, and graduate employment. Among the 12, IIT Madras has been ranked 30th in Petroleum Engineering
Close
Chairman, Bihar School Examination Board, Anand Kishore is inspecting examinee students at examination centre in Patna(HT File)
Chairman, Bihar School Examination Board, Anand Kishore is inspecting examinee students at examination centre in Patna(HT File)

Bihar: Evaluation of intermediate exam papers begin

By Megha | Edited by Abhinav Sahay, Patna
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 10:43 AM IST
  • Copy evaluation for Matric examination conducted by Bihar state education board will begin on March 12 and conclude on March 24.
Close
The event will be inaugurated by Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the Union Education Minister, at a virtual ceremony on March 5.(HT File)
The event will be inaugurated by Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the Union Education Minister, at a virtual ceremony on March 5.(HT File)

Pokhriyal to inaugurate 29th edition of New Delhi World Book Fair today

ANI
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 11:02 AM IST
The 29th edition of the annual New Delhi World Book Fair, organised by the National Book Trust, India will be held virtually from March 6 to 12.
Close
IIT Madras has been ranked 30th in the world for Petroleum Engineering, IIT Bombay has been ranked 41st and IIT Kharagpur has been ranked 44th in the world for Minerals and Mining Engineering, and University of Delhi has been ranked 50th in the world for Development Studies.(PTI File)
IIT Madras has been ranked 30th in the world for Petroleum Engineering, IIT Bombay has been ranked 41st and IIT Kharagpur has been ranked 44th in the world for Minerals and Mining Engineering, and University of Delhi has been ranked 50th in the world for Development Studies.(PTI File)

QS Subject Rankings 2021: 12 Indian institutions secure position in top 100

Edited by Nilesh Mathur
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:42 PM IST
  • Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on Thursday congratulated 12 Indian Institutions on securing position in top 100 in the QS Subject Rankings for the year 2021.
Close
Naukri JobSpeak Index for February witnessed an uptick of over 22 per cent in hiring activity at 2,356 job listings as compared to January at 1,925.(File photo for representation)
Naukri JobSpeak Index for February witnessed an uptick of over 22 per cent in hiring activity at 2,356 job listings as compared to January at 1,925.(File photo for representation)

Hiring activities spike in February: Report

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:04 PM IST
Digitisation and automation have resulted in a record sequential growth of 33 per cent in hiring activities in February, according to a report.
Close
The Vice President said the dream could be realised only if the education system was improved.
The Vice President said the dream could be realised only if the education system was improved.

IITs represent face of new resurgent, aspirational India: Vice President

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:47 PM IST
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said the country has to regain its past glory as 'Viswa Guru' and become a knowledge and education hub once again.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP