It’s all about attitude
Both teachers and parents should act as motivators and guiding agents for students, writes SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE
Two years ago Rahul joined a reputed engineering college in Visakhapatnam. All his life he had studied in Mumbai and due to the transfer of his father , he opted for a college in the port city.
Apart from having an admirable academic record, he was outspoken and his communication was enviable.
Object of ridicule
His ability to communicate effectively and ‘out of the box’ thinking made him stand apart from the rest.
But the joy was short-lived, as very soon he became an object of ridicule.
He was cornered both by his lecturers and his peers and he was distanced. Today, Rahul is in a state of depression and his academic record has taken a downward plunge.
His story is just one side of the coin.
A big city boy, not being accepted in a smaller place, but the same fate is replicated to most of the students from smaller towns, who very often find it difficult to compete with boys or girls from bigger cities and quickly find themselves out of place.
The big question
Going by the statistics, one would find that 90 to 95 per cent students in the top B-Schools like the IIMs, FMS, MDI and ISB are from the bigger cities.
Why this disparity, is the question that crops up.
“Attitude is the fundamental factor.
A majority of the students in big cities like Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai think ‘We will do what we want to do in life’; while in smaller towns the concept of education and life revolves round the ‘herding concept’.
They tend to follow or go the way that their peers or friends have taken, oblivious of the need for self assessment to find out whether they like some path or not or whether they are fit for it or not.
Parents also play a major role in herding the students. Most of the boys and girls from smaller cities and towns lack the fighting spirit and they do not dream big,” says Mohamed Abdullah, Director of Conduira, a school for career and personality enhancement.
In a number of cases it was observed that the students from smaller cities and towns excel in academics but they lack the cutting edge ‘chic’ factor.
On the information side, lack of information in combination with the will to collect information is another issue that is plaguing the students from the smaller places.
Other factors like inhibition, competitive spirit, English communication and soft skills add up to the ‘negative’ side for the students from smaller towns and cities.
“The basic conceptualisation that soft skill means English communication is misdirected.
Soft skill is a combination of many factors like general communication in English, etiquette, broad understanding of subjects, team spirit, common sense, problem fighting ability and most importantly social confidence,” says he.
Infrastructure is not the only problem, as many of the engineering colleges in the State have started language labs and have embedded a variety of programmes that includes seminars and workshops within the curriculum to develop students but they fail to give the desired results, primarily due to the fact that there is no assessment or feedback mechanism attached to the programmes.
Taking feedback positively is a vital quality that one should imbibe for one’s own betterment.
The solution lies in training and upgrading the faculty, who would act as catalyst for the change.
The attitudinal factor largely hinges on the student-teacher-parent relationship. Both the teachers and the parents should act as the chief motivational and guiding agents for the students. And ‘out of the box’ thinking should be encouraged, rather than be ridiculed.
Mr. Abdullah tips, “Nothing is too late.
Past is not the reflection of the future, so one can get started right away. And the attitude change should pivot on the concept, ‘Let’s not wait for the environment to change- to- let’s change the environment’.
This attitudinal change would propel one to the league of the bigger boys.”
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