Kerala

NIT-C yet to have a roadmap to foster student-teacher relationship

A more practical and flexible roadmap to promote a healthy and positive student-teacher relationship through creative interventions is yet to be a reality at the National Institute of Technology-Calicut (NIT-C), where the focus is still on the conventional mode of interventions.

With the rising stress-induced medical issues and complications related to substance abuse, a section of economically and socially weaker students is struggling to cope with the void.     

Even as two expert counselling psychologists offer their services for needy students, the institute with over 7,000 students and above 300 permanent faculty members fiddles with limited resources in the area. The recent unnatural deaths also indicate that there is an immediate need for better intercession by peers in the academic sector.

“This academic year alone, five of our students died in various incidents described by the police as unnatural deaths. There were suspicious accident deaths and self-killing, including the incident on Tuesday. It is high time we intervened,” said an official who has been working at the institute for over three decades. He revealed that there were even students who showed symptoms of various psychotic disorders and were prescribed anti-psychotic drugs.

“The most dangerous thing that I noticed was self-medication using psychedelic drugs secured through various discreet online sources. Misuse of anti-depressants remains unchecked,” the official said. According to him, there is also a suspected rise in the consumption of such illegally secured drugs following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Sources in the NIT-C said the alleged practice of forcing research scholars to work as ghost writers in prestigious international journals was also emerging as a stress factor for many. “Afraid of vengeful actions that could even affect their future research work, many are reportedly reluctant to disclose their harrowing experiences,” they said.

Meanwhile, S.M. Sameer, Dean, Academics, NIT-C, who dismissed claims of “poor interventions” for fostering student-teacher relationship said the institute had a sound faculty advisorship system with teachers in the lead role, apart from a students guidance council and a team of student mentors.

“The question is whether all the needy students make use of it properly. Overindulgence in the virtual world sans poor outdoor game activities and the social disconnection subsequent to the pandemic scare are continuing to be major hurdles in maintaining a cordial relationship on the campus,” he observed.

Prof. Sameer also claimed that the number of unnatural deaths, mainly suicides, was not found growing in a distressing pattern while considering the total strength of the institute. “Also, the police have not come up with any solid evidence to prove it the other way,” he said.


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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 3:14:21 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nit-c-yet-to-have-a-roadmap-to-foster-student-teacher-relationship/article65582973.ece