Jaipuria Institute of Mangament, Lucknow hosted a focus group discussion on the role of mentoring and challenges in higher education. The event, held on the 4th of September, delved into a subject that needs to be talked about and holds great relevance for students and academicians alike. Dr. S. B. Nimse, Honourable Vice Chancellor of Lucknow University, was the guest of honour for the discussion, which had many esteemed academicians on the panel.
Dr. Nimse started the proceedings with the auspicious lighting of the lamp, which was followed by a Sararwati Vandana performed by a choir of students. It kick-started the event on a rousing note and had prepared the audience, sitting with rapt attention, for what was to follow.
Dr. S. R. Mussanna, Director of Jaipuria Lucknow, then addressed the students and spoke about the present scenario in education. He set the platform for Dr. Nimse, who went on to say, “The education environment today is technologically developed and driven, which brings its own challenges for mentors.” However, Dr. Nimse was of the opinion that mentors need to adapt not only to the changes around them but to the evolving mental attitude of students as well.
Ms. Abha Dixit, Faculty, Jaipuria Lucknow, did a fantastic job as the mediator of the group discussion and guided the panelists into discussing the challenges they faced and sharing their experiences. Ms. Mehnaz Tassavur, Vice Principal at Career Convent Girls College, focused on the mentor-student relationship and also talked about her personal mentor, who had a huge influence on her life.
Mr. M. S. Khan, HOD, Rural Programme, Bhimrao Ambedkar University, touched upon the important matter of classroom attendance, which is an integral part of academic life. He appealed to mentors to inspire higher classroom attendance amongst students – out of choice, and not fear.
Dr. Kavita Pathak, Associate Dean, Jaipuria Institute of Mangement, Lucknow, acknowledged the challenges in the field of education but believed that they had to be addressed by teachers and should not be extended to students. “Instead of shifting the blame onto the students, mentors should concentrate on each and every student, addressing the issue constructively,” she pointed out.
Dr. Dheeraj Mishra raised another important point about how mentors should be aware of every student’s potential, as that awareness could go a long way in boosting their capabilities. While mentors argued their ideas, students in the audience gained helpful insights.
Aseem, a Jaipuria Lucknow student of PGDM batch 2013-15, believes that the mentoring programme makes him feel more secure as he knows that there is a guardian in the college, looking after him. Kunal, another student, thinks that the programme will boost his confidence level immensely. Overall, the important take-away from the programme remained the fact that mentors can play a huge role in students’ lives, in spite of the many challenges that have to be overcome.