| BN College principal PK Poddar (in coat) speaks to students after the meet on Tuesday. Picture by Jai Prakash |
The parents-teachers’ meeting called by BN College on Tuesday was wrapped up in around half an hour, as less than 10 parents turned up for the interaction.
Around a month ago, the college administration had sent letters to the parents of at least 350 first-year science students at the institution. The administration sought the parents’ feedback on ways to improve the college’s infrastructure and academic facilities and ensure discipline on campus. However, only 10 parents turned up for the meet on Tuesday.
This is the first time in recent years that the institute has convened such a meeting. Sources said they could not remember a parents-teachers’ meeting being called earlier.
On Wednesday, too, the administration has called a meeting with the parents of first-year humanities students. Around 500 parents have been sent letters.
Sources said the step has been initiated for the first time in recent memory so that the parents know about their wards’ performance and can also provide feedback to improve functioning on campus.
At Tuesday’s meeting, according to a source, one of the parents raised the need to improve the library facilities. BN College principal P.K. Poddar told the parent that although the library has adequate number of books, it would be upgraded in light of suggestions.
On the low turnout, Poddar told The Telegraph: “We were surprised at the low turnout at the parents-teachers’ meeting, as letters were sent to each and every one of them by post.”
He, however, said the strike called by the non-teaching employees of Patna University could be a reason for the low turnout.
BN College teacher V.N. Kanth also said: “It has been observed that whenever any academic institution calls for such meetings, the parents are sceptical. They feel the institution has invited them to air grievances about their wards.”
He added that had the meeting been called on a Saturday or any other off-day, more parents would have been able to come. He said many of the BN College students are from outside Patna district and the parents might have problem to come to the city during the week.
Parents-teachers’ meeting is a new concept at Patna University colleges, although National Assessment and Accreditation Council mandates such meetings as well. Girls’ institutions such as Patna Women’s College and Magadh Mahila College already have such meetings.