May 30, 2016 2:19:44 am
Delhi University (DU) teachers who have been boycotting the evaluation process for undergraduate exams over the last four days, in protest against the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) latest gazette notification, have decided to continue the boycott till June 2. The teachers also threatened to boycott the university’s admission system if the notification is not withdrawn.
Sources said the continued boycott may not only delay results but could adversely affect the admission process, which begins from June 1. More than 4,000 teachers signed the decision at the general body meeting Saturday.
All 12 evaluation centres remained virtually empty last week as teachers stayed away from evaluating answer scripts in protest over the UGC notification. “If our voices are not heard, we may boycott the admission process as well,” said T N Jha, a Hindi professor.
As per the gazette notification, workload for assistant professors has been increased from 16 hours of “direct teaching” per week (including tutorials) to 18 hours, plus another six of tutorials, bringing the total up to 24 hours. Similarly, the work hours of associate professors have been increased from 14 hours to 22 hours.
Calling it unacceptable, teachers said the changes will not only impact the quality of teaching but will also result in a skewed student-teacher ratio. The changes would also drastically increase workload of permanent staff, they claimed.
Rajesh Jha, a professor at Rajdhani college, said, “We aren’t happy boycotting evaluation. But we don’t have another option. The notification has disastrous ramifications not just for DU, but for the country’s higher education system. The absolute boycott by the teaching community should tell the government that this is not acceptable”.
He added, “It was decided at the meeting that the boycott will continue till June 2. The executive committee will meet again on June 1 to review the situation and suggest ways to strengthen the struggle.” Teachers have also planned to stage a “people’s march to Parliament” on May 30.
Staff associations of different colleges also passed resolutions rejecting the notification. “The staff association of Ramjas College also urges the UGC to refrain from announcing such rules which are anti-academic and anti-teacher. The teaching community will not accept such rules lying down..,” read the resolution passed by the association.
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