Desperate to cover the shortage of teachers for its ambitious four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) programme, Bangalore University (BU) has asked faculty members from various science departments to pitch in.
In the process, the university, which suspended fresh admissions to the BS programme this year, has been forced to recalculate teaching workload in some of the allied departments. This is the result of “very poor response” the university received for guest faculty positions to teach 41 students enrolled for the programme.
The University Grants Commission, in its 2010 regulations for minimum teaching standards in colleges and universities, has prescribed a workload of 14-16 hours of teaching per week.
“But we find that our teachers do not have much work in life sciences, sericulture, geology, applied genetics, molecular biology and other departments. So we have asked them to teach the BS students. Also, the previous administration ambitiously introduced a foreign language component which has forced us to find faculty for that as well,” Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda told Express.
Not Many Takers
The university had invited applications for guest faculty positions for physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology (PCMB), Indian language (Kannada, Hindi and Sanskrit) and foreign language (French). “Except for Biology, there has been a poor response to our call,” said M Shivashankar, coordinator of the BS programme.
The four-year BS programme was started in 2010, a year before the Indian Institute of Science launched a similar course. However, the university had to face infrastructure and teaching limitations, forcing the present V-C to suspend fresh admissions this year.
The programme requires 52 hours of teaching for each paper. “We have asked our allied departments to give us the existing workload based on which we will assign teaching hours for the guest teachers,” Shivashankar said. Appointment of guest faculty, Shivashankar said, is inevitable as dependence on faculty members from other departments is not feasible. “They will have their own workload. Having said that, there are teachers who have a workload of only 8-9 hours per week against the required 16 hours,” he added.