Poor attendance in colleges is a common phenomenon and students are often found queuing up outside the principal’s office to justify their long absence from classrooms. In rare cases, students are barred from appearing for exams.
However, more than 100 students with poor attendance record were shocked when the Mithibai College management refused to accept their admission forms for the next semester. “We were called to the college and told that since our attendance was below 20 per cent, our admission forms will not be considered for the next academic year.
Initially, we thought the college was threatening us so that we would get our acts straight. But our admission forms have not been accepted till date,” said one of the students. The students belong to the first and second year of the BCom and BA courses. While some of the students have already sought admissions in other colleges, several are still waiting to hear from the college officials.
“My husband and I personally went to meet the principal. We agree that our child has low attendance, but that’s because he’s also pursuing the Chartered Accountancy (CA) course alongside his BCom. The college authorities refused to accept any reasons, and have denied admission to over a hundred students for the next semester,” said one of the parents.
What has left students and parents fuming is the alleged bias exhibited by the college management while denying admissions. “If the university rule states that any student with attendance less than 75 per cent should be reprimanded, then why are only those children whose attendance is below 20 per cent being targeted? All students with attendance below 75 per cent should be denied admission to the next year.
But the college is denying admission only to us,” said another student. With no positive response coming from the college authorities, several parents and students have sought help from Naari Sanmaan Sangathan, a city NGO. “Some of the parents were insulted by the college staff.
How can a college act like this? What’s worse is that the college had never clarified at the beginning of the academic year about the kind of action it would initiate against students with poor attendance. How can they randomly implement such absurd rules at the last minute?” said Sundari Thakur, from the NGO.
What the rules say
As per the university rules, students have to ensure 75 per cent attendance in order to be eligible to appear for examinations. University officials say that while colleges can bar students with poor attendance from appearing for exams, they lack the authority to refuse them admissions to the next semester.
“A college can debar a student if his/her academic progress is not up to the mark, but attendance can’t be the only criteria for denying admissions,” said Madhur Nair, Dean of Commerce faculty, University of Mumbai.
The other side
Speaking to mid-day, Principal Dileep Kamat said, “Ask these students and their parents to meet me personally. Why are they contacting media for such matters?” When he was asked whether the allegations levelled by the students against the college management were true, he refused to comment.