Technology has invaded the classroom — and the big question is if it is blurring the line of a student-teacher relationship. On Sunday, a college teacher in J&K was arrested for shooting a porn clip of a student whom he had been getting close to via SMS. Earlier this month, a professor in Bangalore was caught flirting with students through text exchange.
These incidents have sparked off a debate on whether it’s okay for teachers to share personal phone numbers with students, or even add them as friends on Facebook.
The Dean of Students Welfare at Delhi University, JM Khuranna says boundaries are important and teachers should be careful when sharing numbers. “Students are immature. Look at the DU fan page on Facebook. We designed it to impart knowledge but students started saying inappropriate things and using abusive language. In fact, we had to delete some of them,” he says.
“I do give students my number, but they can call me only if they have a course-related query. And I only add them on Facebook once they have passed out,” says Jyoti Raghavan, a professor at Kamala Nehru College.
“I never accept any friend requests on Facebook,” says Kanika Khandelwal, a lecturer at Lady Shri Ram College.
Psychiatrist Deepak Raheja says, “A college going student has a very fragile mind, and social networking or talking to them on phone leads to many complications. It gives them a handle to be closer to them and some teachers can take advantage of such things.”
Students, however, disagree. “There is nothing wrong as long as we don’t intrude in their personal space or SMS at odd hours,” says Neha Nayyar, a third year student at LSR. “I don’t think social networking or texting teachers can lead to anything inappropriate,” says Pearl, a DU pass out.