Rajasthan introduces exams for college faculty, teachers up in arms
An order issued by the higher education department on June 22 states that question papers will be sent for teachers comprising 22 questions which will be culled from question papers for Civil Services, Rajasthan Administrative Services, NET, SLET and other such competitive exams.Updated: Jun 27, 2020, 17:56 IST
College teachers in Rajasthan are up in arms against a government move to conduct regular exams for faculty in a bid to update their knowledge and teaching skills.
An order issued by the higher education department on June 22 states that question papers will be sent for teachers comprising 22 questions which will be culled from question papers for Civil Services, Rajasthan Administrative Services, NET, SLET and other such competitive exams.
The papers will have 27 questions and two questions will be common to all papers – how to develop a trait of ‘anandam’ (joy of giving) among students and which persons from your field have won the Nobel prize in the last five years and for what.
The order signed by higher education commissioner Pradeep Borad states that the objective of Wake-Up (We Aspire to Knowledge Enhancement and Updating Pedagogy) is to update teachers’ knowledge and ensure they teach in an effective manner.
However, the order has not gone down well with teachers in the state’s 290 government colleges.
The Rajasthan Universities and College Teachers Association (RUCTA) and RUCTA (Rashtriya) have given memos to higher education minister Bhanwar Singh Bhati demanding that the order be revoked.
Dr Ramesh Bairwa, state joint secretary of RUCTA, said protests have been held in around 100 campuses across the state. He said the association would challenge the order in court if it was not taken back.
“This order is anti-teachers. The monthly exams are an insult to teachers. The government order also proposes monthly exams for principals. Teachers should not be harassed under the garb of innovation,” he said.
He said the department should regularly organise orientation and refresher courses and seminars as per UGC guidelines to assess teachers.
RUCTA is also demanding that the DPC for principals which has been pending since the past five years be held at the earliest so that appointments can be made to 250 vacant posts of college principals.
He said as per UGC guidelines, senior, selection and pay band 4 grades be given to teachers.
NL Gupta, general secretary of the RUCTA (Rashtriya) said exam for teachers is unheard of. “Nowhere in the country in any state service are exams held to assess a cadre.”
“The aim of higher education is to develop critical thinking among students. The higher education department does not have any focus on improving classroom teaching, research and knowledge creation but only mechanical learning and coaching,” he said.
Borad said the aim is to get teachers out of their comfort zone and update themselves about developments in their subject and their teaching skills.
“The attendance in colleges is poor because teachers don’t take regular classes, teaching is mundane and not geared to employability. Children throng coaching centres because they think they will be able to secure a job. Se we have to mould college education to concerns and needs of students,” he said.
“We want that teachers are geared to teach and prepare students for a competitive environment,” he said, adding that the framework for ‘Wake-Up’ has been created after discussions with subject experts.
The question papers have been sent and teachers have been asked to solve them and send them to the higher education commissionerate by July 2, 2020.