BENGALURU: A circular issued by the Department of Collegiate Education on December 12, 2019, mandating 20 hours of teaching subjects with practical classes, in addition to supporting the principal with administrative work for four hours a week, has not gone down well with professors of government first grade (degree colleges). The circular reads that the department has observed professors in several colleges being “non-cooperative and lazy”, and that principals are not sending necessary administrative details to the department on time.
The professors say this order violates UGC guidelines, which mandate s them to work 40 hours a week, with assistant professors teaching for 16 hours and associate professors and professors for 14 hours, including practical classes. The remaining hours are to be used for research, writing research papers, presenting papers, etc.
“This order increases our workload. With this, we will waste time assisting the principal in administrative activities and lose out on time to conduct research, write research papers, pursue PhDs and do textbook writing,” said a professor under condition of anonymity.
“In some colleges the student strength is poor, so professors handle multiple subjects. For such teachers, this order would result in extra work. Instead, they should have allotted two hours for student guidance,” the professor said, adding that the principal already has administrative staff.
Another professor said, “This will become hectic for professors who conduct Chemistry and Physics lab classes.” The professors pointed out that there are no UGC guidelines mandating them to assist the prinicpal.
Responding to this, a senior official from the Department of Collegiate Education, said, “There is no change in the number of direct teaching hours. Sixteen to 14 hours per week has always been only theory. The remaining hours are for practical classes. Professors have to make time for research. Sending administrative information and reports to the department, conveying information to students on scholarships, helping students fill out the online application for tests — all this requires involvement of professors.”
A source from UGC clarified that there is no guideline that mandates that professors must assist the principal in administrative work. However, he added," Colleges under the DCE must follow what the department orders, even if the guideline is not present in UGC. The rationale behind such an order might be because a lot of funds given to college often remain unused."
"This is because there are not many permanent principals who retain their post without transfers for long period of time. Many become principals when they are on the verge of retirement. In both such cases, they do not initiative in doing financial work and utilising funds from state and centre. If professors who remain in the college for several years without transfer are trained in dealing with finances and take leadership, they can assist the principals in utilising the funds."