Not a fool's errand

Evening colleges

A regular college building. Students walking in the corridors chatting and laughing. Teachers walking towards the classes, with half of their mind on the cup of chai and the rest on what to teach the class where students are usually present in dribs and drabs.

This is how an evening college looks like. This casual atmosphere has much to do with the reputation of students studying in these colleges who are considered inferior as they have failed to make it to the cut-off list because of low marks. In a country where marks and degrees are the foremost yardsticks to judge a person’s credentials, announcement of a “dead career” comes upon their arrival.

However, there is a silver lining behind these doomed tales as students from evening colleges are grabbing multiple opportunities to accelerate their career growth. As the evening colleges usually begin around 2 pm and end by 7:30 pm, students have ample time to work or take up a language or any other course to make their resume look better, or they can simply follow their passion.

Agrima, a second year English literature student at Dyal Singh Evening college, says, "Evening colleges are usual, just a better option for those who are working or looking for extra opportunities.”

Samridhi Gupta, another final year English literature student at an evening college, says, “We have the advantage to pursue part-time job or a professional course. It is often said that evening colleges do not provide a safe domain, in contrary they do offer students the rightful sphere to enjoy their college life.”

The flexibility and the power to have time in your hand’s is the biggest advantage for these students, many of them work for call centres and successfully manage their time, studies and sleep.

“Students who want to earn while still in college, usually do night shifts at call centres. They get back home by 6 am and get a good night sleep for six hours which is usually enough to throw anything together,” she adds.

For many, the prized attraction is the Delhi University’s name on their resumes. Even though there is a sea of private institutions waiting with open arms for them, they prefer to settle for less because of the “tag”.

“Considering an evening college seems to be a wise choice for those looking for admission in Delhi University. With a lower cut-off, but same infrastructure and equal denotation as the morning colleges, evening colleges have earned acceptance in last few years. Once students pass out from an evening college, they are equivalent to those from morning colleges. There are almost no disparities between morning and evening colleges except the fact that their timings and staff vary,” points out Gupta.

Interestingly, there is no difference between the syllabi and the courses taught in these colleges so the prejudice towards evening college students stands extremely biased.  “I don’t feel any different. Just that there needs to be more of evening colleges so that people don’t act like you’re in an alien college,” says Agrima.

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