The resentment among the St Stephen’s faculty over the reported move to introduce quota in teaching was quite obvious on Wednesday. Several teachers reacted strongly to Protem Administrator MS Frank’s insistence on appointing Christian teachers to ad hoc posts in the History Department.
Miffed members of the governing body (GB) alleged that the “Frank was crossing his brief by interfering in issues that are covered under the administrative powers of the governing body.”
These protests come in the wake of a strongly worded letter written by History Department head Rohit Wanchoo to Frank on Tuesday. Unhappy at being asked to appoint a weak Christian candidate, Wanchoo stated in the letter that he would not accept measures that “needlessly jeopardise teaching standards during the coming academic year.” None of the two Christian teachers has been handed over appointment letters for the ad hoc post in the History Department. The issue will be discussed among heads of various departments at a meeting on July 11.
“To the best of my knowledge, the governing body, which is the sole authority in deciding matters relating to faculty appointment, has not passed any such resolution which giving preference to Christian teachers,” said GB member A.D. Mathur. Another teacher said: “I am absolutely against this. I will not give in if I am asked to appoint a teacher on the basis the religion he/she follows.”
Sources, however, say that this issue is not new. “Being but a member of the faculty, I am obviously in favour of selecting meritorious teachers. But I will be lying if I said that departments have not compromised before. Many a times, departments have given preference to Christian teachers and this has been happening since the time Anil Wilson was the principal. The reason why it seems so outrageous is because it has come under the media spotlight for the very first time,” said a source.
A few, however, favour Frank. “Out of 70 teachers in the college, only four are Christian. If the college can reserve 50 per cent of its seats for Christian students, I see absolutely no harm in the institution also including more Christian teachers. This does not tantamount to dilution of teaching standards,” said a teacher.