The RD Women’s College, one of the premier women’s educational institutions in the State, is gradually slipping into a crisis. It is finding it “extremely difficult” to strike a balance between education quality and the ground reality of having to manage the show with an ever-increasing number of vacancies in faculty.
In fact, there is a huge backlog of vacant teaching posts in all the five streams of the autonomous college. It has been left with just a couple of regular teachers in almost all the departments. According to the latest reports, 60 per cent of the teacher posts are vacant. In an important stream like Physical Science that has 48 posts, there is no Head of the Department for Physics and the HoD of Chemistry is in charge of Physics. While Physics department has just three readers and one lecturer, Chemistry has just four readers. The situation is similar in Biological Science. Over 50 per cent of the total number of sanctioned teacher posts in both Physical and Biological Science (except Botany) are vacant. Out of the six sanctioned teacher posts in Botany, only one post is vacant. But in Zoology, there are just three readers and one junior lecturer.
This apart, there aren’t enough lab assistants to help in practicals. Sources said there are only five lab assistants to help in practicals of both Physical Science and Biological Science. In Humanities stream, the department of Philosophy does not have a single teacher and there is even no guest faculty to take classes. In all other departments like English, Psychology, Sanskrit, Sociology, Political Science, over 50 per cent of teacher posts are vacant. Like Philosophy, Commerce department too has no teachers at all. Sources said of the 70 teacher posts, around 40 are lying vacant.
Though the college manages the situation by recruiting part time/guest lecturers for a measly pay ranging between ` 3,000 and `6,000, quality concerns loom large. “We have been trying to re-employ retired teachers as guest faculty, but not many of them are coming forward as the pay is very low,” said an official of the college. College Principal Sanghamitra Khuntia said the higher authorities of the Department of Higher Education had been informed about the vacancies. “The college will be holding interviews for appointment of guest faculty to the departments of Philosophy and Commerce on August 30,” she said.
Amid these circumstances, the new academic session for the degree courses started on August 1. Meanwhile, as on Monday the college still had 63 seats vacant in Humanities stream, 21 in Physical Science, 17 in Biological Science, 31 in Commerce stream and 20 in self-financing courses.