Sunday, November 19, 2017
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What should have been done by the University itself—enforcement of the compulsory attendance rule—has now to be done under directives of Allahabad High Court. Once again the Court has come to the rescue of a system strangulated by compulsions of its own making. The Court has ordered that attendance is must and that no excuse should be entertained --such as the strength of a class being too big to take the roll call. What is more.

the Court has also directed that only those students be allowed to appear in examinations who have completed the attendance as per the rules in force.
More than the boys it seems it is the teachers who shirk taking attendance. The excuse that it is difficult to take attendance of a large number of students is too flimsy to be tenable. The teachers need not call out the full names. Let them number the names. That would be easy. But a little bird tells me that this is an excuse by teachers because if attendance has to be taken, it would imply that they too have to be present. And this is something that might not be always possible for at least some of them who earn a lot of extra through private coaching. The late Sunit Vyas once told me that some teachers of Allahabad even went to Delhi to lecture to students of reputed coaching centres there. These teachers leave on Saturday, take classes in Delhi on Sunday and return to Allahabad on Monday morning. But if the train is late they miss the local classes. And that exposes them.
As regards students, they are compelled to join coaching because of  missing classes. If they must get 75 per cent attendance, would it not imply that teachers too must put in at least 75 per cent attendance? It would be worthwhile to suggest that the Court should form a committee , as had been done in the past too for other purposes, which may collect all data about the number of classes held. That will expose the truancy of teachers as well. If teachers do not hold classes,  how will students attend classes? How will they ensure 75 per cent attendance for themselves? If they say that they went to the lecture theatres but that no student turned up, let them record that. But they cannot just absent themselves on the presumption that no student would come. Even if no student comes, they must go. Once the students come to know that teachers have been coming to classes, the students are bound to turn up. Why would they miss a class and instead pay extravagant amount to a coaching institute?

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