Sunday, 4 March, 2007

What happened to our Intra Collegiate competitions??

Isn't "All-round development" the keyword for any educational institution? What extra/co- curricular activities are actually happening in the college? The only activity of any importance is probably the Quiz club. And that too has seen a steady decline in participants. Maybe because of a lack of a proper room where this can regularly be conducted.But other than this ... ZILCH ! Isn't it high time we actually organised a common forum where the talents of the students can be recognised and utilised? For those who don't know this, and I'm quite sure that there are quite a few, we have been overall champions at Dhwani three times in a row. So there is no questioning the talent of the students. We have a very good store of raw undiscovered talent. But how can this be discovered if they have no platform to show them? And on top of all this, we have a management that promotes only studies and a PTA that serves no actual purpose than to collect a hefty sum from freshers each and every year. Where does all the money that the PTA collects go? There has been no significant contribution to encouraging extra curricular activities of any kind by this association.
Lets take a "Sector Wise" approach to this .. Firstly - Sports
A few years back, there were promises from the then Principal that cricket nets and a badminton court were due very shortly... .well Sir, you've just redefined "shortly". Its been three years for crying out loud! The first year students may be unaware of this fact but at the time I joined GEC, ie in 2003, there used to be an inter class football tournament every semester.This was also one of the best places where an intense bonding and friendship developed between students of various semesters. It wasnt something of grand proportions but it was fun. There used to be an intense passion in every single game that was played. They were played basically for bragging rights. But isnt that what college life is all about? Shouldn't healthy competition be encouraged? There was also an ever rolling trophy for the champions. There was even a "best player" award. There was also an inter class cricket tournament. Whatever happened to all of this? With zero support, or rather with a large amount of discouragement from the "management" these have slowly vanished. And probably the greatest shame of them all.... We now don't even have an annual sports meet. A shame indeed. We have 3 college teams for sports. Lets take a look at them
1) Football.
With no inter class tournament, talent scouting becomes that much harder. Students are rarely informed about selections (if any actually happen).And when a bunch of good players are finally selected, it'll be too late, because the selections happen a day before a tournament actually starts. So that leaves out practice and coaching. Oh ... wait a minute!! We don't have a coach!! Wait... we do have someone responsible for physical educations don't we? (For those who don't know that fact, you're forgiven. He rarely shows up in college).And unfortunately the half decent football ground that we have now looks like the site of an archaeological excavation site where the battered remains of an ancient city now lay, with just a few pillars remaining.
2) Cricket.
Same as above. Don't think our college has any equipment of its own.We have 1 or 2 district players in the team, but no coaching provided at GEC .. no sir!
3) Basketball
This is probably the only team that actually practises and has any team coordination at all. No thanks to the administration. These boys formed the team on their own, practise whole heartedly with no external support, they scout for talent with every new batch in the college and they've had their share of bright moments. Again, don't think the college has even a basketball.
4) Volleyball
We had a team once in 2003, played one tournament with zero practice. End of story.
5) Indoor Sports.
Non-Existent. How hard is it to actually construct one small room with a couple of ping pong tables and a few chess boards and carrom boards?
Second category...
Technical events at fests
Now being a government college, our college has an abundant supply of intelligent students.And this has been proven time and again.The winner of the US technology promoted Brains at War competition is from GEC.We have a few (Three I believe) very good quiz teams, that have won prizes at many fests. A couple of people take part in debates sometimes. Now the difference between these two are that there is actually a quiz club where the best in the college actually get together regularly and fine tune their skills (Thank you for your support Mr. Abhilash Suryan).
A "debating club" was started a while back but vanished immediately. It was a very good step in the right direction in starting it, but unfortunately it din't take off, probably because of a lack of cooperation. The college is now churning out brilliant engineers who are not confindent in public because of a lack of exposure. I have to admit though that there have been a few instances where the college authorities have taken the initiative and conducted workshops and presentations but with a discouraging response from the student community.

Sector 3
We have just won the overall championship at this year's Aufait. But let's admit it, there wasnt much of a competition. So why is it that a college that has been a 3 time Dhwani winner still cant give CET and MBT a run for their money at various fests. It most definitely isn't a lack of talent. I would say that it is a lack of organization among the student community. No one knows who is good at what. Isn't it the duty of the Arts club secretary to actually identify talented people and give them the necessary encouragement? We still see only a very small number of students (which does not include the arts club secretary himself) actually participating in the fests. There are probably more talented people sitting undiscovered in this college. We need a combined effort by the students as a whole to be able to score any points in major inter collegiate fests such as Dhwani and Crossroads. And what can the administration of the college do about this?
Well, perhaps a small portion of the massive amount that the PTA demands every year for God only knows what, could be used to provide some basic facilities for the students. For example, how about a room dedicated to arts? Where the students could practice after working hours? And how about a cd player so that songs can be played so that dances can be practiced? Now that surely is not going to hurt the PTA is it ? Lets do some basic arithmetic here.
Number of incoming students per year = 180
Amount collected per year by the PTA = 3000 (2000 for my batch)
Amount collected per year = 3000 x 180 = 5,40,000
Total collected in the 4 years I have been in college = 5,40,000 x 3 + (2000x 180)
= A WHOPPING 19,80,000. Almost 20 lakhs.
Cost of half decent cd player and speaker set = Negligible
Ok now some personal experience. This college has a band. (Please no comments about the quality please :D). We've had our ups and downs but we've never ever had the support from college. As is the plight with any endeavor that our students embark upon. Students from various batches represented our college at Rosebowl's Dhoom. This is probably the first ever time that we've had a gropu representing our college that comprised of students of various batches. But that was totally their own initiative and hard work.And you have to give them a hand for stayin after working hours in college and practicing even with narrow minded people around who think a few boys and girls sittin in a classroom together is a crime.
(Some people may remember incidents which happened in 2003 during dhwani dance practices where a senior staff member showed us how brilliantly narrow minded he was)
Hopefully this year we'll be having an arts fest. (Union... atleast give us an arts fest! No sports day, no annual day ... please? atleast an arts fest?)

Ok.. now Im tired. So please if someone else can talk about how we can improve the situation before major fests like cervello and crossroads, I could sit in front of my PC relaxing and listening to some music and growing fat.
But before I leave, some suggestions to the Principal, PTA, union and students

A) Dear Principal...
1) Allow arts fest
2) Allow sports day
3) Allow Annual day
4) Allow football and cricket tournaments
5) Give us a table tennis room atleast.
6) Hire a football and cricket and basketball coach?

B) Dear PTA,
1) Utilise some of the funds you receive for the betterment of the students
2) Maybe some sporting equipment?
3) Maybe a couple of instruments and audio system for an AV and music room?

If you're funds have been utilized in the construction of the nearly completed new building, the you have my apologies and i retract my statements.But if that money is in the banks accruing interest for no purpose at all, you should be ashamed of yourself.( By the way, why were we forced to give Rs 1500 for the construction of the new classroom blocks?)

C) Dear College union (To the new one to be elected on the 9th)
1) Actually organize something !
2) Think about the possibility of an arts fest happening
3) Maybe a sports day as well?
4) Atleast an annual day? Cmon.. I mean.. which college doesnt have an annual day?

D)Dear students
1) Organise something yourselves
2) Take part in events. It's for your own good. You'll develop confidence.
3) Your batchmates arn't the only ones in the college. Your seniors and juniors can be your teammates. That would lead to a better team.
4) Utilize what you have. Join the quiz club. Join debating and public speaking clubs if they are formed. You have nothing to lose.
5) Let's give a decent performance at crossroads.

My batch will be completing our engineering studies in June (Hopefully). So it's upto the juniors to carry the torch forward. Make it burn brighter. And lets hope that we get an administration ready to promote education and not just textbook studies.


~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~ said...

You haven't left much to be discussed but then i still have to stand up and applaud for this is an excellent piece of writing about the status of various initiatives that STUDENTS take up in our gr8 insti!

I do agree when princi says that getting ranks and getting more ppl into MTech ALONE is the way to go for GEC. But it's NOT the ONLY way to go! Let's face it, there are people who still take up engg just because ther frnds took it or worse " my dad made me take it " types. So for such people BTech degree with 80% marks maynot be a thing to happen. For them as a good college we need to have other areas where they can shoe their skills!

Now people go to fests not to get glory for their college, no they don't! This comes from someone who's been there done that, a lot of times! People go to earn respect, or to earn money so that they will be recognised if they go to another event the next time. In this way if our college gets a name, it's fine! But to be ture going for a quiz, debate, Best manager contest or even a personality contest doesn't take much practise and doesn't cost any money other than the reg fee! Even THEN we see very few people/teams from our college going for such events, WHY??? Mainly coz the notice board won't be displaying posters of such events or because it clashes with some internal exam(like Ragam this year).

For getting wholesome education we need engineers who can think and ACT like one. Not just think and fail to put those thoughts into words or actions! I mean what's the point in being the 1st rank holder in Kerala Uni's BTech exams?? U don't get anything other than MAYBE a photo in the papers and maybe a commendation from the principal in the convocation(wch is another thing that our college misses)!

So if anyone can do anythin PLZ do so! This is for all student's, staff and for those leaders who will be elected or are already elected

Anonymous said...

1 SMALL DOUBT:Do we have an arts sec???

I have never seen of him (or is it some gal??) All i know is that the college doesn't do anythin and since the union is a students body, i thought someone will be there to encourage the events in the college! But then the only event for which some senior came and informed us was for AuFait this year, maybe due to the pressure from the organisers(who mst be good frnds of the seniors). But then this lack of encouragement can extinguish the small light that we have in the field of arts n sports! I never had heard that our college had participated in Dhwani, let alone be the OVERALL prize winners! It was shock for me when i read and heard that there are so many seniors who are talented and are regulars in the competitions. The only team or person whom i have seen is 2 seniors from s8 representing college in some quiz on Asianet!

As Rohin has said, Au Fait didn't have quality competition and hence it is not good to revel in the success we had their. We need to prove our mettle in fests where there's quality competition and as it's said "Competition is a painful thing, but it produces great results"

So as long as we don't win against serious competition noone's gonna notice us! Lets HOPE that atleast the Arts sec who gets elected on 9th will do justice to his post and be an active person, unlike the one who holds the post now!

manu said...

You have done an awesome job,you should make our principal read this blog.

manu said...

Let me say something about the volleyball being the only non player to have witnessed our college playing volleyball.They didnt have a coach,some of the players in the team didnt even knew the rules properly.When it comes to basketball,some basketball buffs from first year decided to form a team(me too being a part of it:D)with no support from the college and as a result we have a college basketball team now of which we can be proud of.

Its great to see a dance group emerging in our college,kudos to our juniors who made this happen in a college where dance was quite an alien thing(though we once made a vain attempt,me and the blogger himself being a part of it).Now coming to the college band,thanks to some of our seniors(joseph and bose especially who made this happen) have never got a bit of support from the college authorities and the union(again me and the blogger being a part of it).Last dhwani was the most dissapointing one,our college's name was nowhere near the top 10(three times in a row and now what...).

When we were juniors we knew almost every seniors and had a good chemistry going but now i dont see that much in our juniors....
March 9th is going to be an important day,lets hope,let the best ones be selected....

Abhilash Suryan said...

Well now I think, I too have something to say. The very reason I'd quit a highly rewarding career and returned to teaching was the temptation to go back to the campus buzzing with activities almost on a daily basis. Strangely, I must use that word since most people around me find that strange, it used to give me some kind of happiness. And my early days at GEC led me into believing that I did the right thing. I think Rohin & Abhijith won't disagree for they might have been exposed to some of those activities as freshers. I still remember the day when I routed my early morning walk towards Hassan Marakkar Hall where two final year students, Jamshid Nalakath & Jithin, were struggling to set things in order before the scheduled college day & there was no college union at the time! & nor they were holding any office. They might have lost money from their pockets, got very little support from any corner, but they just wanted to make sure that when they go out of the college, they'll have the memories to cherish.
And Dhwani we've 'proudly' hit the rock bottom after all those glorious years. Let's forget about the inter college glory and come back to the topic. What do we call a campus life with no extra-curricular activities?! May be Barton Hill has been converted into a 'Buji Hill' over the three glorius years at the helm by the 'great god' ably assisted by the fans of the Taliban! What memories you'll have when you go out of the campus? Hours spent scratching the metal in the work shop? or the time spent within the class rooms wondering whether your watch is slower than the earth? Or scoring 1 mark more than your best friend thanks to the inconsistent evaluation of the teacher? & Of course those who consider themselves lucky to have found romance in the campus will retrospect later, if not now, if they think they're contented with what they got :-)And for the bagful of jobs we have on our hands, let's wait & see.
There's a limit to which teachers can involve themselves, especially when they're in hostile environs. Who's to blame if you don't have an Annual Sports Day? or an Arts Fest? or even a College day?
Just try to recall who were behind all those things carried out when you were freshers. To turn up and win is one thing, to set the stage is another. It requires a few dedicated and unselfish group of people to work behind the scenes, with out seeking personal glory. And how many of you are prepared for that?
And finally regarding the Quiz Club, since it too found mention in it, I'd greater things in mind when I started it, that is going beyond quizzing and converting it into an arts club with a difference. But I'd to go after people to get a decent crowd once Vishnu R G left, and often the crowd had more people interested in other things (not even arts) than quizzers, which in fact turned away those with genuine interest. And I'd no official recognition, not that I'm seeking it, but with powerful people like the college council & the PTA watching over I didn't want to be caught on the wrong side of the 'law'. And we have able men carefully chosen by the Principal to guide the college union activities, to edit the college magazine and conduct the annual sports & games, why should I interfere?!
But please don't think that I'm not bothered, it in fact bothers the hell out of me that I'm trapped in such a campus.

athul v dev said...

yep a good job man......
the manin thing as the college is havin is the lack of organisin as u said explorin and evokin hidden talents in the college..
we can just say to them " da pls participate". but rest is upto them.....
why we used to fail in many cultural events. yep lac of organisation..
how can a handfull of students help in gettin overall trophy??
we should organise and allocate diff students..
encourage them.....
leave the case of present arts club secretary(gone case..)
expectin our new arts club secretary to do some thing much much bettr for our college.
now in case of sports......
many of the colleges are planin sports events...
we even dnt think of tht hehe..
yea we have our own limitations...
if we provide some stadium for playin tht will be much better.
and a coach(still dreamin abt tht
atleast our juniors get tht..)
yea still have time to organise interclass football tournament(but if our princi give permission)....

Rohin said...

My post was in no way an attempt at placing the blame solely on the authorities and the PTA. A major chunk of the blame must go to us students.Because it is us who much take the initiative to organize the events. But it would be wrong to say that the students have not taken an initiative at all. There have been cases where students have taken it upon themselves to organize something but other factors have ruined a good initiative.
Example 1- In the 3rd year of my batch, we had planned an interclass football tournament.Most of the planning had been done. But then came the view from some that there was a union and thus it was their job and they would do it. And so that never took off.
Example 2- This is something most people in the college are familiar with. An initiative was taken by majority of the students of the final semester to give the college an inter collegiate fest to be proud of. We dreamt big. We even got the Principal's support.But in the end politics and petty selfish interests led to its ruin. And now the three branches have gone their seperate ways.And we have no unity to speak of.And even if somebody does manage to do something new and organize something for the benefit of all, the number of people who show up for it is marginal. So it would take a combined effort and coordination between the students, the Union and the management to make some changes.

lekshmi_gecb said...

thanx for the mention atleast of the debate club.if i am right,the reference was to the one formed by aruna and myself.we had put in our best efforts at the time n our aim was to get the 'cat aspirants' to join in and provide invaluable support.though it didnt turn out that way,one tiny achievement was that it evoked the interest of the then freshers(now s4 pppl,esplyy e.c).i hope they will come together and revive it,and also that someone from our able faculty will provide the necessary support and direction(like abhilash sir has done for the quiz club).do it guys,if not for the experience and the education ,then for the fun of it.

Jamshid said...

Life @ GEC used to be really good for our batch. I dont know why things have become so sad for you people.

Our batch - 2004 passouts, we all were mixed into batches and put into classes togethere the first year, so there was no mech, no ec & no IT. From the second year on we were split, but we always maintained that relation and attachment amongst us.

We had wonderful sports meets, football tournaments, art competitionms et al.

You people should make most of what's there. And pls.. Do CUT classes!! Go out .. have a few drinks.. I guess our gang were the ones with the least attendance in our college.. but we still made it!! Most of us are well placed and doing quite well.

U ppl should definitely do something abt the website.. it sucks!