The curricula vitae of ‘ Gujarat’s ‘intelligent’ teachers and professors will now boast of an additional qualification – marketing and event management. The latest brief for professors of state’s engineering colleges is to escort international delegates visiting the city for Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit (VGGIS), take students to the exhibitions and attend sector-specific seminars at the summit to ask informed questions – all of which will, hopefully, create a good impression on visitors.
A directive issued by the director of technical education has asked the principals of engineering colleges, mainly in Ahmedabad, to select a few teachers/professors for this “duty”. They will be on VGGIS duty for about five days in the second week of January when visitors will start arriving for the event. There is no exact figure about the number of teachers assigned this duty but most engineering colleges have been asked to send their recommendations.
The selected will be assigned the task of escorting a delegation to their hotel rooms, and arranging students’ visits to different exhibitions at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. The brief does not end here: teachers are also expected to be attentive audience at different subject-specific presentations; and ensure that impressive questions are asked from speakers!
After bureaucrats, it is now the turn of teachers and professors to get a taste of event management for state government utsavs. The fact that this comes immediately after some teachers have just been relieved of rigorous poll duty raises concerns that academic sessions will suffer.
For obvious reasons, those assigned the duty are not exactly thrilled about it. “They say college teachers are given duty because they are good at English. Assigning duty other than academics to teachers disturbs the academic schedule. Ultimately, teachers will spend less time in class. Even when the event is one month away, our time is consumed in planning for it. Short-listing teachers, grooming them and students is not a small task,” says a teacher at LD engineering College.
Director of Technical Education, T Natarajan is confident that utilizing services of college teachers is going to beneficial for all the parties. “As examinations are close, colleges have study leave so classes will not be affected at all. Besides, education experts from India and abroad are going to make presentations and attending them would give better exposure to teachers,” he said.
Reacting to concerns about other academic work being affected, he assures that teachers will be carefully selected for the job and those who are required for managing routine administrative and examination work will not be diverted for Vibrant Gujarat.