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Sinhgad Institutes’ crisis in Pune: Parents request protesting teachers to resume classes

As many as 300 parents, on Wednesday, met protesting faculty members of the Sinhgad institutes at the Vadgaon Budruk campus but the teachers refused the request.

pune Updated: Mar 08, 2018 14:51 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Maharashtra,Sinhgad Institutes
Parents voice their concern at a meeting at Sinhgad Institute, Vadgaon Campus in Pune.(HT PHOTO )

With exams approaching, parents of students studying in various institutes under the Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES), have requested teachers who are on an indefinite strike to resume classes, taking into consideration the future of their wards. As many as 300 parents, on Wednesday, met protesting faculty members of the Sinhgad institutes at the Vadgaon Budruk campus, requesting them to start taking classes again to complete the syllabus on time.

However, teachers refused the request and stood by their decision to continue their strike against the management of the colleges in protest of non-payment of salaries for the past 16 months.

The teaching and non-teaching staff at various colleges being run by STES took a non-cooperative stand against the society’s management after they failed to comply with their ultimatum to pay salaries pending for the past 16 months. The staff has been on strike since December 18.

Manisha Phauzdar, faculty at Sinhgad pharmacy college, said, “Under no circumstance will we resume teaching in the classrooms. If we start taking classes in the classrooms, it would seem like as if we have gone on the back foot in our fight for justice.”

Parents, however, said they are trying to persuade the faculty members to resume to teaching inside the classrooms.

Advocate Ramesh Dharmavat, parent of a final year pharmacy student, said, “While we totally understand the pain of teachers, we cannot allow a complete academic year of our children to be wasted. Therefore, we have requested the teachers to take classes only for a month so that students can get proper guidance and go ahead with their examinations.”

Assuring to support teachers in their strike, Anjali Joshi, parent of first year engineering student, said, “We have assured the teachers of our complete support in their issues with the management of the college. In return, we have only asked them to take classes for one months.”

Responding to the parents’ request, Fauzdar said, “While the parents are worried only about the academic year of their children, we are pondering over the possible avenues to fund our children’s future education”.

She further added, “We are equally concerned about the academic year of our students. Therefore, we are regularly conducting classes outside the classrooms in the college campus. Also, a very significant number of students are attending the classes”.

Faculty members who are on strike have appealed all the students and their parents to support their initiative of teaching outside classrooms, but on the premises of the campus.

Earlier, on February 28, the management council of Savitribai Phule Pune University had decided to postpone the internal semester examination of Sinhgad Technical Education Society (STES), which was to start on March 6.

The SPPU management council has also recommended appointing a government administrator from the state government under the Maharashtra University Act, 2016, Section 31(z) following the demand by teachers over the financial mismanagement in the institute.

AT A GLANCE

1. Management of Sinhgad Institutes continues to be adamant and refuses to clear the pending salaries of their staffers

2. According to former professor Sachin Shinde, a government administrator may be appointed at Sinhgad Institutes in one or two days. The Social Welfare Department is ready to clear ₹60-80 crore dues but it should be used only for staff payment.

3. SPPU is planning to resolve the issue by keeping the management of the institute aside.

4. Maharashtra government, through this new developed mechanism, will directly transfer the salary amount to the teachers’ accounts.

5. Charity commissioner has started an inquiry and is also going to appoint their administrator. to tackle the issue.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 14:43 IST