I am in a state of shock!
Yesterday I met a young man who has just graduated from one of the local universities. I told him I had been to his alma mater, that I was very impressed with the interest that one of the faculty members took in the final year projects – how he helped the kids come up with really creative hardware/software ideas and guided them through the process of developing solutions.
I know this young man well so i wasn’t surprised that he felt confident enough to look straight at me and tell me that the lecturer I was talking about was certainly very helpful – but the help and guidance came at a price. Naturally I was confused. That is when he told me that the lecturer actually charged the students for the “help” that he extended.
He said that it was commonly known through the university that his rate was in the region of Rs. 150,000 per project. The kids that enroll at this university are from middle class families but it wasn’t the amount that he charged that shocked me; it was the fact that he charged at all. Isn’t it his job to guide and counsel the kids? Isn’t that why he is there in the first place? So why this extra money on the side? How can he even ask kids who are in his care for money? Doesn’t he realize what the stature of a teacher/lecturer/professor is.
This discovery has left me feeling quite sad. I had such great respect for what I thought this man was doing for his students. Now I will never be able to look him in the face. And you know what is even sadder? When I said to my student informant that I would go to the university management and lodge a complaint, he begged me not to. He said that at least there was some guidance even if it was at a cost. 😦