One of the most debatable regulations of the University of Delhi is that of attendance marks. Not only does it restrict one’s right to choice, but also poses as a forceful and logically unfair rule. Though the concept of minimum attendance can still be logically debated, attendance marks must be scrapped.
One of the most debatable regulations of DU is the allocation of marks in accordance with percentage attendance.
Clause 2.2.3. (http://grs.du.ac.in/Important%20University%20Rules.htm)
There shall be 5% weightage for attending lectures regularly. The credit rating is as follows:
67-70%: 1 Mark
70-75%: 2 Marks
75-80%: 3 Marks
80-85%: 4 Marks
85% above: 5 marks
Though this should not be considered an objection to the minimum attendance criteria, marks for attendance is not a fair practice and can easily be ruled out with reason if the authorities are willing to listen.
It is an almost ‘forceful’ method of making the students attend the classes and is based on the wrong assumption that marks, an indication of a student’s capability and understanding of the curriculum, will increase in relation to the number of days one attends college. College is a student’s choice and the people who are genuinely interested in the lecture will attend it irrespective of this, while the others who attend college for the 5 “free marks” end up disrupting the teaching-learning process entirely. The college logic is somewhat like:at the age of 18, our students, who have the right to vote for who governs us will definitely not have the intelligence to decide how many classes they must attend. It needs to be understood that the ‘students’ they are teaching have already developed their character, thoughts, and decision making power. It is not logical to thus, regulate matters of their ability to choose.
Instead of keeping marks as the incentive, DU should work on making its classes interesting enough for students to attend on their own. They must note the attendance in order to judge the classroom experience. When teachers know that to avoid teaching empty classrooms they’d have to work hard, it is sure to raise the level of teaching!Furthermore, it is important to note that not all the students live in the same proximity to the campus. Some students are one hundred twenty minutes away, while some others live right inside the campus. The proximity makes the task of attending the classes difficult or easier respectively,and is therefore, not fair to all. Last minute cancellation of classes or a single class a day further discourages students who live far away from attending college.
Marks are supposed to be given to those students who are aware about the course they are pursuing. However, this rule is just a like a transaction of time to gain marks. Just by attending classes one cannot guarantee that the student has gained any more information about the subject. It is important to see how this system also leads to partial score inflation. Aftera student’s score on tests or other assessments increases,it does not reflect any genuine improvements in learning. Due to this, the final marks of a student with less aptitude may even be greater than that of student with more aptitude. Attendance has turned just into a formality! It is now rather the reverse psychology that further demotivates the students.
Darshita Sharma, a student from Sri Ventakeshwara College, says, “This actually moulds the student’s mind in a way where they just have to fight for marks.Relating marks with everything will not really help educating students.”
Furthermore, it needs to be mentioned that learning can happen outside the classroom too! One’s CV is not decorated by marks alone. One needs to indulge in extra curriculum, internships, and work experience in order to make one’s impression. These don’t always provide ECA or work according to the college timings and therefore, are the easiest way to lose out on attendance. However, the student is still gaining practical knowledge; something that can never happen within the classroom. But it is reflected badly on the CV with lesser marks.
Lastly, it should not be thought that it is a drastic new change. DU’s FYUP had done away with this ordeal and it’s time to scrap it for the others too.
Professor Jenny from the English Department of Miranda House is one amongst the many lecturers who disagrees with the system. Providing alternatives, she said, “Instead of hyper focusing on attendance, we need to give more importance to creating syllabi that is relevant for students from diverse social locations , move out of the boring lecture mode of teaching , have smaller classrooms and make the classroom a more interesting and interactive space. For this we need more funding in education and a rethinking of educational policies, both at the primary and higher levels.”
Image Credits : TimeSheets