The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Varsity checks on truancy

First, the number of seats in colleges was reduced. Now, in its efforts to uphold quality over quantity, Calcutta University will ask all colleges affiliated to it to keep it posted about the attendance of individual students once every two months. About 200 colleges are affiliated to the university.

The university authorities have observed that, with some colleges never bothering to keep an eye on attendance, students often do not attend enough classes. Despite this, they are allowed to take their examinations.

Such truancy increases after the Puja vacations, when the students extend the holidays on their own without consulting the faculty.

The university will make it compulsory for colleges to send the marks obtained by individual students in college examinations taken at the end of the first year, and on the basis of which students are promoted to the second year of the BA, B.Sc and B.Com courses.

Suranjan Das, pro vice-chancellor, academic, said even if colleges cannot send copies of the students’ attendance registers once every two months, they will have to do so at least quarterly.

“We want to keep an eye on the students’ attendance and their performance in the class examinations as it is not possible to maintain quality merely by imposing restrictions on admission of students,” said Das.

As the first attempt to ensure quality teaching in colleges, the university this year reduced the number of seats in undergraduate courses in those colleges where the infrastructure is not adequate.

It also decided to keep an eye on each college to ensure that none of them admitted more students than the number of seats allotted to them.

Sources said often colleges admitted more students than their infrastructure permitted as a number of them either dropped out or left after being admitted in other colleges.

Colleges try to avoid maintaining regular checks on students’ attendance as these institutions do not have adequate space in classrooms to accommodate a large number of students if attendance is higher.

Colleges face such space problems mainly because they admit as many as 500 extra students beyond their capacity.

According to the sources, by arranging to keep a watch on students’ performance in class examinations, the authorities will also get to know the teaching standards in individual colleges.

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