News : Hello There! Colleges have Helplines Flooded with Calls
May 14, 2014 -- Anxious parents have been working the phones non-stop after the Class 12 boards were declared on May 9. They've got all kinds of doubts about college admissions for their wards and they want answers immediately.
Most of them found to their disappointment that city colleges are ill-equipped to handle a large number of phone calls. Some colleges have set up dedicated helplines to field queries on admissions, but most can only offer information to parents who visit the college.
"We've been calling the college for several days," says T Renuka, who is trying to get her daughter admitted to MOP Vaishnav College for Women. "There is one number and no one is picking up the phone."
Renuka and her family, who live three hours from the city, say it would have been helpful if the college had a helpline. Parents and students say the story's the same at most colleges.
Officials at MOP Vaishnav, for their part, say the admission season is a trying time for staff members. "All the details you need to know are on our website," says principal of MOP Vaishnav, Lalitha Balakrishnan. "We have interconnected phone lines so even when the line is busy, it sometimes sounds like it is ringing." A staff member says the college receives more than 100 calls a day.
Stella Maris College in Teynampet does not appear to share the problem. "We are in the heart of the city so parents come to the college to make enquiries," a faculty member said.
Some institutes have set up dedicated call centres for admissions. SRM University, Kattankulathur, has an on-campus call centre manned by a team of 20 people. VIT University, Vellore, has also set up a help desk. "We have 10 multilingual executives who are trained to handle admission-related enquiries from parents over telephone and by email," says VIT University director (undergraduate admissions) K Manivannan.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About MOP Vaishnav:
M.O.P. Vaishnav College for Women is an arts and science college located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in southern India. It is affiliated with the University of Madras.
Published: Monday, May 19, 2014