Government – College Teachers Head For Showdown On Timings

Shimla: Getting government college lecturers to stay on campus for a normal ten to five timing is proving hard as the lecturers are a agitated lot and have even threatened to go on mass leave should the condition be made binding.

Addressing a gathering of HP state college teachers association at Mandi, President RK Kayastha on Sunday said the government’s 10 to 5 timing diktat was not acceptable to them.

He claimed that University Grants Commission (UGC) norms only provided for 5 hours of duty time and college teachers working timings could not be equated with other employees.

Should the government insist on imposing the time conditionality, we would be forced to agitate. “For a start, we will register our protest by wearing black badges; will go on mass leave and not participate in the elections to students body, if the government does not relent,” said Kayastha.

“The government is not demanding much,” says OP Sharma, director higher education.

Citing guidelines, he said, “as UGC pay scales are being implemented in all government colleges, asking the lecturers to abide by its norms in taking up research projects besides teaching, participate in administrative responsibilities, co-curricular and social work is something that is the needed to bring about qualitative changes in higher education.”

Sources say, faced with absenteeism, falling standards and under competition from private institutions, the government has decided to insist upon longer work hours for the about 2000 college teachers in the 68 colleges that it runs.

Sharma also said that the department had decided to apply the performance appraisal base system (PABS) to benchmark college teachers with an Academic Performance Indicator bar towards career advancement.

Whereas college lecturer’s are peeved at the government insistence on the timing order school lecturers who are on a lower pay scale and teach XI and XII classes already have to stay put on campus on a working day. “We have to be on campus during the official timings,” says Pramod Pathaniya, general secretary school lecturers association.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

Join the Conversation

4 Comments

  1. says: PradeepR

    Full time salary for a part time job! Just how many people know that teachers are supposed to be doing what Director Higher Education is saying. You ask any one aspiring to become a teacher. “I want to be teacher because I take just one or two classes and get the whole day off.” Work-shirking, not the noble cause, is attracting the people into the teaching line. Perhaps nowhere else you find a worst combination: a callous government which is ready to pay no more than a pittance to the teachers who are at their work-shirking best. Let them go on strike. They command no respect in society. They are next only to doctors in preying on the helpless.

    1. says: A.S. Ranaut

      Dear Pradeep R,
      With reference to your comment on My Himachal, I want to draw your attention to your ill-informed stand vis a vis teachers teaching in the colleges of Himachal Pradesh. It is highly objectionable that your opinion and your knowledge about the working of teachers in the colleges is not proper and that is beyond facts. The teachers teach a minimum of five classes in the colleges. Apart from this teacher has to work on different committees formed for the smooth running of the colleges. A teacher has to work on minimum of 6-12 committees like discipline maintaining committee, Youth festivals committee, cultural function committee, seminar committee, carrier counseling committee, environment committee, campus development committee, House Exam committee. Besides this the teachers also have to devote the time for the admissions, student’s guidance and solving their general problems.

    2. says: A.S. Ranaut

      Dear Pradeep R,

      With reference to your comments on My Himachal, I want to draw your attention to your ill-informed stand vis a vis teachers teaching in the colleges of Himachal Pradesh. It is highly objectionable that your opinion and your knowledge about the working of teachers in the colleges is not proper and beyond facts. The teachers teach a minimum of five classes in the colleges. Apart from this, a teacher has to work on different committees formed for the smooth running of the college. A teacher has to work on minimum of 6-12 committees like discipline maintaining committee, Youth festivals committee, cultural function committee, seminar committee, carrier counselling committee, anti-ragging committee, environment committee, campus development committee, House Exams committee etc. Besides this, the teachers also have to devote the time for the admissions, student’s guidance, solving their general problems and the research which is to be done by the teachers according to the UGC norms.
      There is a need for a regular dialogue with the UGC and the NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Commission). For this the teachers have to prepare the NAAC reports for the assessment and accreditation of the colleges, which is a mammoth task. A lot of work force and energy is required for accomplishing the task of preparing a NAAC report. Besides this, Mr. Pradeep R, the UGC has defined the work load of University and College teachers. According to the UGC, a University and a College teacher is required to teach for 16 hours per week, 10 hours per week have been kept for preparing the lecture to be delivered next day in the class, 6 hours per week have been kept for administrative work and 4 hours per week for preparation and evaluation of the Test Papers. Another 4 hours per week have been kept for other student related miscellaneous work. So the total comes to 40 hours per week.
      UGC is a constitutional/statutory Body which regulates the colleges and Universities throughout the country. There is a great scarcity of infrastructure in the colleges. There is no provision of rooms where the teachers could sit and prepare the lectures to be delivered in the classes the next day. The teachers usually do this work at home because they have the facility of their own libraries, books, internet and other resources there. For preparing a lecture of 40 minutes a teacher has to work on it for at least one hour. So for the teachers it is a minimum of 5-6 hours work at home for preparing the lectures which remains unseen by the general public.
      The teachers have to be ready for the unforeseen jobs like controlling the student mobs whenever there are clashes and violence in the college campus, which has now become a regular phenomenon. It is not a law and order problem. The students need to be tackled carefully and tactfully, keeping in view the adolescent age and the youthful vigour of the students. Dealing with a student mob is not an easy job. It is the respect and the influence of the teachers that becomes helpful and makes it possible to control the student mobs.
      The teachers prepare students for different youth festivals that are organised by the University. The teachers have to work day and night to prepare the students so that they win and bring laurels to the college. The teachers also accompany the students’ group/entourage to different parts of the country wherever the events are organised.
      If taken together, for whole of the year/session, the total workload of a teacher comes around not the 7 hours, it comes around 10-12 hours a day. So the opinion that the college teachers should work at least for 7 hours does not auger well in the light of the above discussion and the present scenario. A teacher’s workload is much more than required by the government.
      It is a totally misinformed campaign that is being launched against the college teachers. The learning flourishes better in a liberal and free environment. The UGC and NAAC has also underlined the importance for a vibrating and intellectually stimulating atmosphere on the campuses. The move to bind the teachers in a specific time frame shall be counter productive vis a vis the output by the teachers, the total learning output, research done by the teachers and overall welfare of the students.

  2. says: Rivesh

    There are three dimensions to the issue of confrontation with respect to stay of 7 hours (10 AM to 5 PM) and UGC regulations with respect to career advancement of teachers.
    First view is of public, the opinion of whom is derived from personal perceptions and is generally critical in nature to all professions except their own and family.
    Second view comprises the departmental officials handling files, notifications and the red tape. This is driven by the official egos and prejudices against all other professions in the hierarchy. Do not believe the argument that these people are really interested in quality improvement and resource harness as they are themselves in a complete mess. It will have a better explanation in following paras.
    The third view is that of the college teachers, the affected party at the moment. I hope their explanation to the problem will matter more than the others before understanding the issue and put a final judgement.

    To the best of my understanding, the teachers in higher education all over the world are not contained within time limits. The teaching at this stage requires a continuous and updated knowledge flow to satisfy the questions posed by the mature students. This alone differentiates them from other categories. Furthermore, intellectual minds cannot be blocked to perform beyond official timings. UGC regulations also desire teachers to stay in the institution for 5 hours (4 classes at the most requiring 3 hours and 40 minutes). This stay of 5 hours is also subject to the provision of space and infrastructure available in the institution.

    Now the question is about the intention of department. Why they want to contain these teachers in a rain-shelter like staff room where no work can be done except gossips. Teachers even have to prepare the daily lectures at home as there is no place in the institution where there is no disturbance. Libraries are in a very bad shape. They cannot even handle the students and not to think about the big number of faculty members. There are no computers for teachers and not to think about the internet and e-resources.

    In this background I am not sure about the vision of departmental officials for containing teachers within this time limit. Had it talked about some basic structural changes as listed above, teachers would have voluntarily agreed to stay beyond this time limit as it is always better to do major academic work of reading, writing and research at work place. Unfortunately there is not vision beyond official dictate which could understand well the relationship of teachers’ academic growth with quality education.

    As far as the performance indicators and career advancement facilities are concerned, the officialdom simply wants to sit over the papers and forms in the guise of DPC and permissions etc. There is nothing technical that is decided at these long channels of beurocracy which is better understood by the local head of institution having experience and qualifications. There is no such thing as time limit and defined process for any permissions and NOCs to attend mandatory refresher courses, orientation programmes, national/international conferences or workshop etc. There is virtually no accountability of anyone down the line as most such things go missing or unreplied unless chased personally by the teachers. Due to all this confusion and zero-accountable educational administration, the plight of teachers is still worse despite sufficient pay hike given by the UGC/HRD under UPA government. Central government is clear about the quality enhancement but the real mess has been created at state level. The teachers’ energy is being consumed by these petty issues and complexes of officialdom. The issue is grave and needs some immediate intervention from some visionary leadership or let this sector of human resource development decay just like any other public office.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.