Cautioning parents against putting ‘excess pressure’ on students to get good grades, IIT Bombay has written to parents and guardians of those who have taken admission at the institute this year and advises them to, instead, encourage the youngsters to give their best shot.
“During the address to the parents at the orientation this year, we also plan to introduce a few points of this nature, where we will advise them to not put undue pressure on their wards or unrealistic expectations and instead let them be autonomous in their decision making,” said Prof Urjit Yajnik, dean of student affairs, IIT Bombay.
The letter covers academic and hostel life, financial help and details regarding IIT Bombay’s student mentor programme for first year students.
“Students who enter this institute every year are some of the best brains in the country. Due to the competitive environment here, we have often experienced cases where students, who until then had always topped their class, found it difficult to get grades that meet their expectations. This has often led to one of two extremes: some students face excessive parental pressure, while others simply adopt an indifferent attitude, which further reduces their academic performance. We hope that you would encourage your ward to put his or her best foot forward, and treat the best effort from his or her side as the objective, rather than the results,” it says.
Pointing out that hostels form an integral part of every IIT student’s life, it says the transition from “loving and caring hands” to a completely new competitive environment of IIT could “occasionally cause adjustment problems” in the initial period of their stay.
“Many students find it difficult getting used to a roommate and hostel life for the first time. Sometimes, cultural, social and language differences further delay the settling process, As mentors, we help freshmen have a smooth transition so that this settling process is as short as possible,” reads the letter.
The letter stresses that IIT Bombay encourages students to take up whatever interests them and parents need to support them in their choices. Stating while there is enough time in a regular day at IIT for students to fit in both academics and extracurricular activities without much stress, it simultaneously advises that “care must be taken to ensure proper time management such that academics is not neglected”.
Addressing the issue of ragging, it says ragging in any form is strictly banned in the campus and students should report any such untoward incident to their mentor. “We assure you that it will be dealt with confidentiality and highest priority. Interaction of the freshmen with seniors (other than the appointed mentors) is heavily curtailed during their first month so that they get time to adjust. Strict penalties are very much in place, and mentors are always available to resolve any situation promptly. Rest assured, ragging has all but vanished from the IIT Bombay campus. It is, however, expected that the freshmen develop a healthy rapport with seniors as they themselves are among the brightest in the country. In fact, a healthy senior-junior interaction has been the hallmark of this institute and we would like to maintain that,” it says.
The letter says the purpose of sharing various aspects is to make parents aware of them and as parents, they need not be alarmed, but “mental preparation and precautionary measures” would help.