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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Teacher-taught ratio imbalance hits AU efforts

ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY (AU) is today paying a heavy price for its pioneering initiative to start three-year degree programmes in the state of Uttar Pradesh in 1986. Thanks to the lack of adequate support from the state government over the years the varsity is today facing an acute shortage of teachers with teacher-taught ratio going up to 1:68 against the UGC recommended ratio of 1:9.

india Updated: May 07, 2006 00:00 IST
Hindustantimes
         

ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY (AU) is today paying a heavy price for its pioneering initiative to start three-year degree programmes in the state of Uttar Pradesh in 1986. Thanks to the lack of adequate support from the state government over the years the varsity is today facing an acute shortage of teachers with teacher-taught ratio going up to 1:68 against the UGC recommended ratio of 1:9.

Even with its recent decision to do away with the additional classes from the forthcoming academic session and admitting students only against its basic sanctioned strength in its Central avataar for the 2006-07 session— something for which the university is drawing flak from the student leaders today— senior teachers say, it will take at least another three years for the benefit of the move to be actually seen on the ground.

They point out that all that the varsity has done this year is to shut down the additional classes which were first started in 2001 on the instructions of the state government as evening classes and stopped on its very orders in all the varsities barring AU in 2003. AU simply transformed these classes into additional classes and kept them running.

The effect of continuously increasing the intake of students, sanctioned posts of teachers remaining fixed at 540 for the past three decades and lack of timely recruitment can be seen on the campus on any functioning day. With 163 vacant posts of teachers, a lone teacher struggling to teach a class of 150 to 200 students in the department of Ancient History, Philosophy, Political Science or Hindi is enough for even a layman to grasp the situation.

The fact that nine papers are taught at the UG level and five at the PG level, the workload of the varsity's teaching staff can best be understood.

If the White Paper published by AU in 2002-03 during the reign of Prof GK Mehta as the AU Vice-Chancellor is to be believed, as a result of the situation, AU teachers are devoting 60 per cent of their time in taking UG classes and the rest 40 per cent being spent on taking PG classes, guiding research scholars and performing administrative tasks— resulting in gross neglect of their own research works which in a varsity should be their prime concern. The situation seems even more alarming if you take in the fact that the varsity does have 10 constituent colleges to share its UG burden.

Many a teacher on the campus blame the state government for the existing situation. They accuse them of pressuring varsities to keep on increasing the intake of students every year while at the same time refusing to recruit teachers like the ban imposed in 2002-03 and refusing to bear the cost of any additional post of teachers that the UGC started and wanted the state government to bear the cost after the initial three years.

It is also worth mentioning that with the state government not approving any recruitment of class-III and class-IV employees too since in 1980, AU was forced to avail the services of around 225 contractual workers. However, with the state government not willing to pay their salaries, the varsity was forced to meet that expenditure from its own earnings. As a result varsity ended up spending Rs 80 lakh annually from its development fund to pay their salaries in place of utilising that money for carrying out actual development works on the campus.