Delhi University’s Hansraj College has come under scrutiny for sending a notice to its students calling for a Parent-Teacher Meeting (PTM). The notice dated 3rd May 2024 states “This is to inform all students having less than 67% attendance in the current semester that they should report with their parents to the college as per the following schedule.”

The parent-teacher meeting is for students who have low attendance and as per the college this is crucial to bring to the attention of the parents. On the other hand, students of the college are not very happy with this announcement and are wondering if they are back in school.

But what are the problems with this concept in the first place?

Difficult For Outstation/Hostel Students

The biggest problem in this case would be faced by outstation students, whose family is not based in Delhi.

Although the notice states that students whose parents are not in Delhi should come with their local guardian, however, this would be difficult for those living in hostel or PG housing.

Not every outstation student has some guardian or relative who can accompany them for such a thing and putting them in such a position is not appreciated by the students themselves.

As per reports, Anuj Rana, a second-year BA (Prog) student at Hansraj, explained her difficult situation: “My friends and I have received the notice for low attendance and have been asked to bring our parents to meet the teachers.

My parents are based in Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and can’t come to Delhi so I was told to bring a local guardian, but I don’t have anyone here. The reason I have low attendance is because I work as a freelance model and product designer to sustain myself in the city… My flatmate too has been asked to call his parents and now we’re considering just going as each other’s guardians!”

Infantalises Students

While it might not be the most unusual thing for some colleges to conduct PTM, it could seemingly have a touch of infantilising for the students. College is said to be the next step for students to gain independence, learn about the workings of the world, and handle situations on their own.

However, PTMs could inadvertently infantilise students with parental oversight a constant thing for them regardless of where they are.

Read More: When The Economy Is Doing Well, Why Are IITians Getting Low Salaries?

Working Students

A PTM could also be a problem for working students who are employed either as interns, part-time employees or just generally trying to earn a living to afford the college fees.

As per reports, some students work while studying, this could include outstation students coming from economically challenged parts of the society and needing to earn so they can live in the city comfortably.

Overimposition Of Attendance

In a Hindustan Times report, one student anonymously said, “It’s only since last semester that our college authorities have started taking strict action against those whose attendance is low. Defaulters have always been there, but it was only after last semester that a lot of students were asked to sign a declaration that they will try and improve their attendance…

I’m part of a cultural society and my professors recognise me so attendance is not an issue in my case. But I feel it’s so unfair for others who are not as popular as me and have been performing as part of various cultural societies to win medals for the college and are in turn being asked to bring their parents to receive complaints about their low attendance! I don’t think all parents know how many hours we invest in rehearsals during college”.

Curbing Independence

Another reason PTMs in college could be a problem is that they curb the students’ independence and make them feel as if they are under the thumb of their parents and teachers. It would also not let them learn how to deal with difficult situations.

The principal of Hansraj College, Rama Sharma, however, justified this decision saying “PTM has been arranged because last year when there were attendance issues reported later, parents said that they had no idea about their students not attending classes… We usually email to the ID that the students submit, but many mention their own email ID (instead of their guardians).

In such scenario parents never get to know ki unke bachchon ki attendance low hai, and later they question us that why didn’t we share this information with them in time! It was hence essential for us to arrange a meeting with the parents especially now when the admission process is also online.

It’s also important for the college to check on the students’ background and if they need any sort of help, which is possible only when we get to meet the parents. And this is not the first time that we are calling the parents for such a meeting, but this time the attendance has been so low that we had to issue a notice.

I feel holding regular PTMs is important to create a bridge between the parents and the college authorities”.

Some users in comments also wrote about how Hansraj is not the first to do this with some writing “Du students getting offended on Hindu college ptm notice. Meanwhile, the whole IP University colleges following ‘1 ptm per semester’ rule” and another saying “these ppl prolly dont know that maharaja agrasen college has been doing this for two years now”.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Hindustan Times, Jagran, Edexlive

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Hansraj College, Hansraj College ptm, ptm, parent teacher meeting, college, indian college, delhi university, du, du Hansraj College, Parents, Du College, Du, College, College Campus, Attendance, hansraj college news, du news

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