Should attendance be optional for college students? There is a 75% attendance bar in most of the colleges. How is it affecting the student’s performance, creativity, and productivity? Let us see it in this article.
75% Attendance - The most misused weapon
Let us think about the concept of a 75% attendance policy? Is it actually killing the talent?
Is it creating unnecessary pressure amongst the students? Is the bar of learning marginalized by the attendance limit?
Attendance as the term refers to the art or fact of attending something or someone.
Measuring attendance is significant in many organizations but setting up a bar to it does not always seem to meet up the required objective for which it was posed in the first place.
The 75% attendance requirement has mostly never been able to provide all the facets that a graduate student requires for their overall development.
Attendance which is often a most mistaken version required or said to be required for the overall growth of the student in their college or higher education life shouldn’t be just referred to as attending a class.
How students actually learn in college?
College life has lots to give to a student apart from the classroom hours.
College life is about balancing and equalizing various aspects such as studies, passions, hobbies, dreams, friends, family, etc., and maintaining a certain decorum and discipline in their life because it always helps to bring in the appraisal.
There is a lot that you learn inside and outside a classroom.
You learn to adjust, share, understand, motivate, manage time, and also gain that confidence that is very much needed in every individual.
Classroom study is not a single thing a student does being involved in different college groups, events, and sports team, make them grow as an individual too.
Where compulsory attendance is going wrong?
Let’s talk from both the perspectives, from the university side and the student side, and let’s just figure out where the things are going out wrong.
1. Firstly, if colleges/universities do not impose the 75% attendance criteria, students will not show up in the classes.
It seems good since otherwise the students might not turn up and lack the knowledge imparted in the classroom.
It shows on the part of the educational institution that they are much worried about the career of the students, but to be honest, the student is more worried about his/her career than the university is.
Since the student is going to be there in the university for just four to five years and not their entire life so the institute should not advocate them to sit in the classrooms and make them study which they don’t find interesting.
It’s a fact that the curriculum has become obsolete and that no recent technology is being taught to the students.
I wasn’t asked a single question in the internship interview that the college has taught me.
2. The institute tries to compel the students to come and attend the lectures.
If the student is not making up to the class it means that things are not taught interestingly to engross them completely into it.
The institute aims to say that 75% mandatory attendance will make them learn things in class but it is like imposing the rule on them.
It is killing the creativity and art in the students and merely placing the bar will not serve any purpose.
3. One important point to note is, the current trend is putting up a presentation and showing it in the class.
The instructors are just reading it line by line and at the end of the lecture, it seems that the entire PPT has been converted to words from text serving no purpose.
Students are not going to become knowledgeable by attending the lectures. They need to study on their own in this level of life.
By the time students pass out high school, they are grown up and are responsible enough to understand what they require from life and build themselves according to the career they want to pursue.
If they need to attend the lectures, they will by all means and if they do not, there is no point in pushing them to do so. They should be given the liberty to do what they want in the future.
Geniuses and future masterminds can still score exceptional when they hardly attend a single lecture.
If lectures were to help in scoring well, it will be clear that students will automatically start paying attention to it and they do when needed.
4. Another important concern is about the students who come from a financially poor background.
It should be highlighted that not all students are born with that golden spoon that could pay for the college and other expenses.
Many survey records show that students coming from poor and lower-middle-class families are on the look for a part-time or even full-time job right when they start college.
With freedom comes responsibility, the liability of using it to the best, and not wasting yourself away in the name of enjoying the halcyon days of youth.
Compulsory attendance only ensures that some of those who could easily stray away from the path gets to stay in their safe limits and try and comprehend the importance of education and making efforts to keep up the grades.
Learning and schooling opportunities are available online abundantly, sometimes even better & time-saving than what is taught in college classrooms.
Due to recent lockdown, students were forced to study at home, and now how are you going to impose the 75% attendance bar?
Due to improved internet connectivity, technology penetration, and Edu-tech entrepreneurs it has become very easy and effective to study online.
The teachers/lecturers at college have been reduced to a mere role of guides for the students.
5. College curriculum is hardly providing the skills that are required to produce excellent outcomes.
Students learn more through extra-curricular and co-curricular activities of the college.
The 75% barrier gets reduced to drudgery for the students.
What colleges are doing wrong here?
Many colleges impose in case attendance is below 75%, then the student is not eligible to get any scholarship and be debarred from writing exams.
Some colleges have the rule that if a student has attendance between 60 to 75 percent then by paying condition fees, the student will be allowed to write the exams.
Some colleges are too strict that they want the student to maintain 75% attendance otherwise they have to pay a stipulated amount of fine.
What can be the FEASIBLE SOLUTIONS:
The practical solution the institutes should come up with is as follows:
1. 75% of attendance has become redundant. It is no longer a constructive part of the education system.
The Indian education system needs an overhaul to make the attendance rule relevant again or needs to do away with the rule in its entirety.
So, it would be better than the institutes to implement a compulsory 75% attendance in the first 2 years of the college and waive off the attendance policy for the other years.
College makes them mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions.
2. If it were to be kept uniform, the bar could be lowered and kept around 50% compulsory attendance.
Because of the attendance, the student will interact with his or her teacher and attend the classes. Both purposes are served in this manner.