CHENNAI: With counselling around the corner, 17 government nursing schools in the State are functioning without principals, the posts being lying vacant for a few months to a year.
There are 23 State-run nursing schools with over 3,000 students. Sources said only six of the schools — under Madras Medical College, Stanley Medical College, Kilpauk Medical College, Government Kasturbha Gandhi Hospital, in Salem and in Dindigul — have principals.
In other nursing schools in Chengelpet, Kanchipuram, Cuddalore, Vellore, Coimbatore, Ooty, Tirupur, Tiruchy, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Theni and Madurai the posts are vacant. Sources added that the posts had been vacant for about a year in schools at Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Ramanathapuram and Nagapattinam, and for a few months in other schools.
Nursing school teachers said that principals were selected based on their seniority and the ones chosen are those with a year left for retirement. Once they retire, the posts lie vacant.
Teachers say that the absence of a head of the institution makes it very difficult to run the administration, with the work and the decisions falling to teachers and vice-principals. Teachers busy with administrative work find it hard to take classes. They say this could affect the welfare of the students in the long term.
About 108 teacher posts were also lying vacant in some State-run nursing schools. Sources said about 70 teachers had been recruited recently in counselling held a few days back.
Officials of the Directorate of Medical Education said that the process to fill the vacancies were on but failed to quantify them.