Monday, May 02, 2011

Ramblings of a grandma........

I was feeling very very ancient when I spotted two college students, a girl and a boy, in the park where we had taken our students for field work and almost asked them why they had bunked class.

'None of your business', whispered my colleague. 'They are not our students. We are here to get our students acquainted with the flora of Jharkhand. We are supposed to 'see' green not 'go' green'.

The students belonged to two other local colleges. From her uniform (BBA and BCA students have a dress code in Jamshedpur) I could understand that the girl was from another women's college in town. They were also probably having fun at our expense. That they displayed a fairly high degree of intimacy was bad enough but they would constantly check out if we were watching as our lab attendant pointed out. Well with realty shows and 'Rakhi ka swayamvar' flooding our channels I think gray haired grandmas like me ought to 'see no evil' in teenagers romancing in public places. The government spends a fortune on their education charging them Rs. 24/- per month and paying us UGC scales. Would they listen if we told them that it was through the tax payer's money that we were getting paid and their parents were probably tax payers that contributed towards it. As far as they were concerned, I was a jealous cat , that's it!!

Had it not been for the brutal killing of a college student by her spurned lover, I might have ignored the activities of teenagers as part of their getting acquainted with members of the opposite sex. I feel worried now. I wonder if I ought to do something to make them realize that their studies should be placed high on their priority list. I mean what should colleges and schools do to prevent such incidents from happening? I have written about it here. Our youngsters are too precious to lose. What should be our role as responsible citizen of India in the matter?

11 comments:

Aathira said...

I have also bunked a fair bit of class.. but with our timetable.. each dept and each year have varied timetables so its kind of difficult to know if a student is truly bunking or not....

Sumana said...

This is such a tough question to answer considering the teenaged minds. It has to be done 2 ways both at home and at college. The check has to be indirect but a constant eye needs to be on the kids. But i think there should be some instilled responsibility in the kids to check up on themselves whether what they are doing is right or wrong.

GettingThereNow (Cee Kay) said...

I think if the society were to remove taboos about hanging out with the opposite sex and allow the kids to be in each others company right at their homes, it will take away the necessity to bunk classes. They bunk classes because they cannot even be seen in each others' company outside of the college hours. What do you think?

R's Mom said...

I think CeeKay I agree to you...if we removed the taboo of seeing two people of the opposite sex together, they would definitely not need to bunk.

Hip Grandma said...

Aathira:We had students who'd bunk classes to attend MBA coaching. I had no problem with them. There was a girl who would bunk the first two periods but then she was working as a teacher in a nursery school to finance her tuition fee since her dad had been laid off. but bunking classes to be with one's boy/girl friend won't get them anywhere isn't it? And this is the case with a good number of our students.

Sumana:'But i think there should be some instilled responsibility in the kids..........'

Very true. No amount of policing will help if one decides to defy parental/institutional control.

GTN:I did not realize that you were Ceekay.The Indian Society in particular needs to mature. Parents never encourage healthy interaction between their children and members of the opposite sex. And children wish to rebel and seek out means to do just what they are forbidden to do. That they may get carried away and land themselves in a mess is something they don't seriously consider. This is where I feel Co education helps I feel.

R's Mom: Very true. But in the case of the beheaded girl in Ranchi her parents found it necessary to get her married off at the earliest and the boy couldn't take it. I don't want to defend his action but some amount of sense ought to have been shown by the parents in question. Very often teenage infatuation diminishes with time. counseling and an assurance of considering their wishes provided they did well in life ought to have been tried.

SV said...

I guess they are around 18yrs of age, and believe they can understand what is good and bad for them. Please stop coaching them like they are some toddlers. Let them be free.
As CeeKay pointed out, our society is not open enough to let opposite sexes hang out. I believe this is one reason we see so many sexual abuses including rape. As adolescents, it is an hormonal urge and suppressing it will only fire back

Hip Grandma said...

SV:I totally agree. I too feel that society ought to change. I too let them be. it was not as if i wanted to call the members of the Bajrang dal to thrash them. My only worry was whether college timings ought to be compromised. I too feel that if parents/society allowed healthy interaction between opposite sexes these kids would not feel the need to bunk classes and meet on the sly.

Cee Kay said...

Yes, I am CeeKay :) I didn't think people remembered GTN anymore, since I can't find the time to bloghop and comment anymore :P

I have seen that kids who were allowed the freedom to mingle with kids of opposite sex, were more responsible and less sneaky. But yes, I have also seen parents tighten the reins when it comes to dating even if they have been open minded about co-ed friendships.

I hear a lot of talk about "control" in these matters, but the thing is SHOULD parents be controlling their 18-19 year olds? As you said, the Indian society at large, and Indian parents too, need to mature, get their heads out of sand and accept the reality of teenage hormones :)

KADMANIVASI said...

Three things come to my mind. First, controls don't bring about the desired results, they only make the young ones rebel more. Second, in matters concerning duties and priorities, individuals learn from their own experiences, never from the experiences of others. and third, lets respect them and their choices. They may, falter even fail, but that will teach them the meaning of life!

Curry Pan said...

Hi hiphop gma,

I don't disagree that there is a waste of taxpayer money. I also don't disagree that education is very important for us. I want to give you another perspective.

I am a 25 year old, I studied mostly on scholarships at univsersity and at pg. But I often found that classes were useless. Teachers didn't know what they were talking about, egos came up if we corrected them, or they just simply had a lackadaisical approach to education themselves. I often bunked classes by professors who had no passion for their subjects.
For all that, I was in one of our most prestigious universities.

I was still a top scorer. I had a boyfriend. I'd cut class and go debating or have a long lunch. And for all that, I'm still successful, living abroad and experiencing life. I just mean that we may cut class but that doesn't imply we are silly or irresponsible.

Hip Grandma said...

Cee Kay:I remember you as GTN. i'll try to get used to Cee Kay. You are right about parents and teachers trying to impose their will on teenagers and making them want to rebel. And I suppose it is not easy for the older generation to let them explore, experiment and learn valuable lessons as well as set priorities for themselves. There ought to be a middle path and that was the main reason for my starting off this debate.

KADMANIVASI:I have learned an important lesson over the years. Attending classes regularly does not ensure the acquiring of knowledge that is of any value in life. Practical application of knowledge gained, in one's career as well as life, with a will to constantly update one's knowledge/opinion according to changing times is a must. Some of my best students were those that were focused rather than the bookworms.You are quite right about exercising control that invariably causes young minds to rebel.

Curry Pan: It is so encouraging when youngsters like you offer your perspective instead of just declaring me as an outdated old woman. I am afraid you are right about teachers who do not have a passion neither for the profession nor for their subject. I know quite a few who worry more about the revised pay scales and less about attending refresher courses to update their knowledge. Again you are right about the bright ones who would bunk classes and do well despite it because they had their goals in mind. I handled such a bunch of three students myself and I am glad they proved me wrong. They needed a degree to appear for their MBA entrance exams and they told me in very clear and precise words that they had no intention to continue with Botany in their post grad level and the with their basics thorough they would be fine. I am glad to report that they are doing very well in life. I wouldn't know if they had boy friends but I do know that even if they had one he would have been a help to them rather than a hindrance.

Having said this I also wonder how many of our youngsters are capable of identifying their goal and working towards it? I worry about the group of students who get carried away by the soaps and serials shown by our channels. Mine is not a prestigious institution or anywhere near it and my students belong to the lower rung of society.