Principals and heads of colleges have condemned the killing of a college principal in Tuticorin and have urged the government to start facilities for counselling students in colleges.

Heads of government colleges had written to officials in the Education department a few months ago to appoint counsellors on campuses, but they are yet to receive any orders of recruitment, sources said.

In this academic year alone, according to police sources, there have been 17 registered cases of student violence in the State. Of these, at least six are in private colleges, including the principal’s murder in Tuticorin.

Members of the All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations feel such instances are mainly due to academic stress in the students to management pressure on professors to perform, especially in the private institutions.

“Mentoring must be continuous, and not ritualistic to oblige an internal examination requirement. The government should try to evolve an institutional mechanism that provides necessary emotional and pharmacological support to stressed-out learners and middle-aged professors working in challenging circumstances but facing uncertain future,” said M. Ravi Chandran, vice president, AIFUCTO.

According to academic sources, there are fewer than 120 registered counsellors for over 535 engineering institutes in the State. “Many colleges insist on suspending or isolating students who violate rules, which only aggravates their anger against the system,” said Chandra Raghunath, a counsellor in a college.

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