COIMBATORE: Come admissions season, private colleges turn professors into marketing executives to rope in new students every year, letting education take a backseat. From sourcing students’ database illegally from government schools to making cold calls to students, the faculty members allege they are being exploited by managements.
M Kaviyarasan, an assistant professor at a private college on the outskirts of the city, alleged that the staff members were forced to collect class 12 student databases, including their contact numbers, by visiting schools daily. “During the visits, headmasters do not treat us with respect and often do not part with the details.” To overcome these hurdles, a few colleges have been bribing headmasters with cash and furniture to get the students’ details, Kaviyarasan added.
“This poses a big challenge to us every year. Although the government clearly says colleges should not involve professors in other work, they continue to do so,” he rued. Besides fieldwork, professors make cold calls as well. A female professor at a college in the city said that she was made to work as a telemarketer to explain course details, fees, facilities, etc. to over 150 students daily. “Meanwhile, every male professor has been assigned a target of ensuring at least five admissions in a field visit.”
Salaries of a few professors also hinge on their ability to secure admissions. Another faculty member at a private arts and science college said that he would receive his pre-Covid salary of `19,000 only if he achieves his target of three admissions.
A Head of Department at a private college said that admissions were on top of the priority list of his management. “Admission comes first, college work is second, and teaching comes last” he claimed.
Speaking to TNIE, Regional Joint Director of Collegiate Education Kalaiselvi said that a circular would be issued to private colleges on Monday directing them to not use professors for canvassing students.
ICUs scarce in Kovai
Coimbatore: Beds in ICUs are fast-filling up in the city, an alarming fact which indicates that patients are delaying seeking medical help. Over 50 per cent of ICU beds (50 to 60 beds) in CMCH were occupied. On the other hand, all 14 beds in the ICU at ESI Hospital were occupied. Dean of CMCH A Nirmala said most of the patients reported low oxygen saturation level, and difficulty in breathing.