Students say nursing teacher fails those who complain against her

Jun 05, 2012, 06:46 IST | Akela

Pupils at the JJ Institute of Nursing Education have complained against Meena Sonawane, demanding that she be barred from acting as their examiner; accused her of unfair marking, prejudiced remarks and extortion

Students from the JJ Institute of Nursing Education have once again complained to higher authorities against their teacher Meena Sonawane, requesting that she not be appointed as an examiner again. Students allege that Sonawane gives poor marks to students she holds grudges against, and also harasses them in different ways.

Complainants: Ganesh Rajwade and Shailesh Lokhande

On April 12, five second year students pursuing an MSc degree in Nursing with a specialty in child health complained that Sonawane was unfair in her evaluation of students, and requested that she be barred from acting as an examiner. They also put forward a slew of instances when Sonawane had allegedly tried to exploit them. MiD DAY has a copy of this complaint. “I come from a poor family which hails from Parli. She asks students to pay for her air tickets when she goes on educational trips outside Maharashtra,” said Shailesh Lokhande, a nursing student pursuing a BSc.

“We are worried about our future, and so we have complained against her,” said Mahesh Lokhande, another student who is a native of Yawatmal district. “She harasses us, claiming that we were watching porn movies on our mobile phones,” said Ganesh Rajwade, a student from Nasik The students approached Sudhir Singh, vice president of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Mumbai, complaining against Sonawane. On May 30, Singh wrote letter of complaint to the education minister, requesting that action be taken on the errant teacher. “I have requested the minister to take action against Sonawane, as her attitude is extremely unfair,” said Singh.

Not the first time
In November last year, more than 200 students from the institute organised a dharna in Azad Maidan against Sonawane, for the alleged injustice meted out by her to 32 students. They had demanded that Sonawane not be appointed as an examiner, alleging that she had given marks below 25 to all 32 students who had complained against her earlier. In 2009, students had lodged similar complaints against her.

Teacher’s report card
The allegations made against Sonawane by her students
> She gives poor marks to students even when they deserve more, causing them to fail.
> She passes biased remarks. For instance, she claims that students from the Vidarbha region are not qualified or meritorious enough to opt for higher education.
> One of the students complained that she passed derogatory remarks about his complexion, saying, “Close the door, I do not wish to see the face of that black fellow”.
> She collects her airfare from students for educational trips.
> She asks students to pay her mobile and electricity bills.
> She asks students to run errands for her, such as bank and post office work.
> She harasses students, falsely declaring that they have been watching porn on their phones.
> She hasn’t taken any of her scheduled classed with MSc second year students of Child health nursing.

The other side
Reacting to the claims, Sonawane said, “All the allegations are false. Earlier too, they had made allegations against me. An enquiry was also set up but nothing came of it. Some junior teachers are using the students against me. If any student registers fresh complaint against me, I will deal with him.” 

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