Bengaluru: First-grade colleges in the State are gearing up to set up Parents’ Relation Centres (PRCs) for strengthening the student support system.
The Department of Collegiate Education (DCE), based on a proposal by Karnataka State Higher Education Council (KSHEC), has instructed all government and aided first-grade colleges to constitute PRCs.
The basic idea is to involve parents in college activities. By asking parents to engage themselves in college development activities, the government hopes to keep the parents in the loop about the teaching quality and about their children’s academic progress. The DCE recently (December 9) sent a circular regarding the same to all colleges.
The principal will be the chairperson of the committee. He or she has to select parents of five to 10 students for the PRC. The DCE has asked the principals to use discretion and select parents who do not have criminal cases against them and those who are interested in the development of the college. In addition, an external psychological counsellor will be included.
This move is seen as a measure to check dropout rates in higher education. The aim is to reduce cases of depression and suicides among students, by providing timely emotional assistance to students through the counsellor in the PRC.
Principals who received the circular on Friday were keen on the initiative. While often one would assume that parent-teacher meetings are meant for school students, college principals were of the view that it was equally essential for degree students.
They felt that parents do not have a clue about the academic progress of their children and about the emotional problems that the students might be facing.
However, they were unsure how the initiative would pan out in rural areas. With a majority of the parents in rural areas working as daily wage labourers, it would be a challenge to convince them to take time off work and devote time for activities in colleges. Principals said that hardly five to 10 per cent of the parents turn up for the annual parent-teacher meetings in first-grade colleges and wondered whether they could evoke better response to PRCs.
“I am keen on it. But I believe it will be more effective in urban areas. We need to hold discussions on this to figure out ways to ensure active participation from parents in rural areas,” Sreesha Kumar, principal, Government First Grade College, HD Kote in Mysuru district, told Deccan Herald.
Another principal of a government college, requesting anonymity, said that the move would nonetheless go a long way in keeping parents in the loop.
“Earlier, the department used to send teachers to Nimhans for training in psychology. Several of us have been part of it and are already sensitised. Through this, we can reach out to students better.” Colleges would require about a month’s time to constitute the PRCs as they were all on a semester break at present, she said.
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