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Univ students may get to rate teachers

University students might soon get to assess their teachers, which would decide whether they deserve service promotion or not, reports Prasad Nichenametla.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2008 23:56 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

University students might soon get to assess their teachers, which would decide whether they deserve service promotion or not.

While recommending huge hike in pay and incentives for the teachers, the University Grants Commission Pay Review Committee has proposed a system of accountability in universities and colleges across the country.

Not only the students who are taught by the teacher, the ‘multi-source evaluation’ process requires the teacher’s capabilities to be certified by the academic heads and even by colleagues. The teachers will also need to do self-assessment.

The evaluation of teachers’ performance and academic accountability, as the process is called, would be made once a year.

Teacher unions have voiced their concerns, saying India is not prepared for such a process yet.

Though the review committee said the evaluation would help the teacher to know himself better every year, it has some serious implications, which the teaching community has to prepare for. “The assessment should be placed before the selection committee at the time of the teachers’ promotion,” the report submitted to UGC on Friday said.

Multiple parameters like regularity in classroom teaching, availability to students for consultation, participating in faculty meetings, research, and other academic activities would be considered while assessing a teacher's accountability.

“Though there is self-assessment by the teachers and submission of annual confidential reports on performance in some colleges, the proposal is unprecedented in our country,” Professor Harish Narang, the panel's consultant, said. “We have asked the UGC to evolve parameters relevant to universities and colleges respectively to carry out such evaluations uniformly throughout the country.”

Though the proposal is being termed unprecedented, the English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad already has the process is place. “We have notified the format and parameters for teacher assessment by the students this academic year and are all set for the process,” said Prof Abhai Maurya, vice chancellor of the central university.

The IITs also have such assessment in place. “We have a regular mid semester evaluation of teachers’ performance by the students. Though it may not directly impact promotions the results have bearing on the teachers advancement,” said Prof Surendra Prasad, director, IIT Delhi.

Teacher unions are against the proposal. “The country is not that mature to such evaluations,” said Aditya Narayan Misra, president, Federation of Central Universities Teachers Associations.

“There is intolerance towards other castes, religions, languages and regions. Look at what is happening to some communities. We are worried that the same might be reflected in this evaluation,” he said.