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November , 2017
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Attendance Woes @ L.A

“It is an established fact that every individual / institution tries to stand out and be different from the rest of its league. Uniqueness has indeed become the order of the day. So much so that Loyola Academy has stooped to bizarre levels to stay at the top of their league”, says Adam (Name Changed) about the ‘marks-for-attendance’ rule in Loyola Academy, with an obvious hint of sarcasm in his tone. Call it weird or unique, Loyola Academy is the only college in Hyderabad to have this rule of marks for attendance. Like every other college in the city, Loyola imposed a minimum requirement of 75% attendance for being eligible to sit in the semester end exams but the Institution’s “uniqueness” came out when, under the Continuous Internal Assessment (CIA) system, they included attendance in this list and gave it a good 10% weightage. The rule stated that, every 2.5% of attendance above the minimum requirement of 75%, carries a weightage of 1 mark.

This rule faced obvious criticism from every incoming batch and every student had an opinion about it. “This weird system is really a mixed bag. It acts as an incentive for the lesser mortals, who have nothing better to do than attend every single lecture. But for those, who can multitask effectively between academics and extra curricular, this rule is an outright punishment”, says Ankur, a third year student, who believes that such attendance rules shouldn’t even exist at graduation level.

Another final year B.Com (Hons) student, Dipesh voices his concern for the students and talks about the unfair nature of this rule. He says, “This system is totally flawed. It may be aimed at keeping a constant check on the irregular students, but it ends up being unfair to those, who miss classes due to personal and inevitable reasons”.

Beating The 'System' Credits: Inverted Frequency

Beating The 'System' Credits: Inverted Frequency

Initially, majority of the students learned about the rule in disbelief. It seemed very tough for them to come to terms with something that seemed out-of-the-worldly outrageous to them. “At first I thought it was a joke being played on us first years, but when the realization came, it hit very hard. Today, I’ve lived in Loyola with the rule for over 2 years and it comes across as something that could even ‘ruin’ a student’s college life. What is college life without bunking?” says Rohit, a third year student.

Taking hourly attendance further enabled the management to keep a check on those, who bunked between periods. Tarun, a Biotech final year student says, “It was tough initially, but we tried to get used to it. What remains a crazy rule is the need for leave letters, ‘duly signed’, even for an hour’s absence. Seems absurd to me”. Prateek, his classmate adds “Absolutely absurd… it has started to make me nostalgic. I now miss my flaps, uniform and water bottle”. They burst into laughter and exchange high-fives.

After all the cribbing and cursing, the students did give in to the fact that nothing could possibly be done about it. Rohan talks about taking positives from it and says, “The rule sucks for sure but if it has to exist, we could as well avail its advantage. In semester system, every internal mark counts. I’ve had 99 % attendance in the first four semesters and it really helps push your internal percentage an inch higher”.

In spite of being hated by every incoming batch, the fact that there exists a very valid approach behind this rule cannot be denied. The management bats for it by saying that its prime focus is to produce budding individuals and keep its reputation high. With this rule, the management sent out a clear message to its students that they intend to live up to their motto of  ‘Aspire.Inspire.Achieve’ and any complacency on the part of the students, with respect to attendance, wouldn’t be entertained. Talking on the same lines, Jerry Moses of B.Com (Hons) says, “I know that this system is detested by almost all and they find it ridiculous, but I would beg to differ from them. Eventually, what we ought to realize is that there is a direct correlation between our attendance percentage and our academic performance. The more classes you miss, the lesser marks you score. Students here tend to be ignorant towards the fact that this system functions in this way for their own good. All we need is a reality check”.

A new academic year has begun, new batches have started to pour in and this ‘unique’ rule is back to being the hot topic of discussion. Like every year, the freshers curse and question it, their seniors laugh it off and advice them to get used to it and the management explains its purposeful existence. Like it or hate it, this system will be in perpetual existence for decades and batches to come. Life at Loyola Academy will thus, carry on with the unavoidable attendance woes.

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