(This article is based on the ‘Rules for Girls’ for a college in Chennai that took Social Media by storm)

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(This post has been featured in Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks)

You form a system, single-handedly. You ensure that you are the deciding authority. All workflows end with you, irrespective of whether they are in favour or against you. You decide what the rules are and thrust it on others. You use the word ‘discipline’ and tag a hundred so-called-rules under it. Then you proudly claim that this model works for all because no one has spoken against it. But wait have you ever allowed anyone to speak against it?

This is exactly is wrong with many educational institutions in the city. I’m not going to pin point just one or two, because this phenomenon is prevalent in many institutions. When you take a list of the rules and wonder what significance some of them might have, you would get the same answer from all sides – Discipline. I remember the Dean of a very popular college, which remains the most preferred colleges to pursue studies in the city, saying that they believed in self-discipline and not in inculcating discipline after almost 2 decades after being around. At least that made sense.

I’m not advocating that ‘Discipline’ isn’t necessary. It definitely is. But in what context and to what extent is what matters. For instance, it blows my mind to think how a girl talking to a guy can be considered breach of discipline (this rule is common across many institutions). Perhaps folks from the Neanderthal age are still under the assumption that if a girl and a guy speak there can be only one reason for it, and we say we have come a long way from then. Sigh!

To make things worse, there are a few supervisors whose job profile demands that they monitor the activities of the students. Though I appreciate the intention of the institutions to provide a job for people who would have served as good body guards (I’m being very polite), it is annoying when students are not given respect and are treated like filth by people who I’m guessing were not hired based on their education. Where did the Human rights commission go now!

At times, such rules make us forget the very intention of someone joining the institution. The managements get their priorities all wrong and in the name of promoting quality education they do all this drama. I’d really like to ask those people, if despite imposing all these so-called rules for students, how will they allow the student to concentrate on studies, when the focus is always on a god-knows-what definition of discipline?

The school to college transition is important. But what is more important is the campus to corporate transition. That is where people get to know what it is to be out there. These institutes claim to prepare students for the future. But wait, which corporate policy says that guys and girls aren’t allowed to speak or celebrations of any kind are banned? We do have birthday celebrations at work, with team lunches and Fun Friday activities. These are not any privileges, it’s just basic courtesy and the right way to treat a fellow human being irrespective of where the person is in the hierarchy. Do those management gurus know that?

Like someone mentioned, if you want to avoid students getting distracted, instead of banning a hundred things, just ensure that you improve the quality of education. Fair enough? Or are you trying to camouflage the lack of good standards in education by imposing all this on students?

The nation needs an answer!