Students of School of Women’s Studies in Utkal University are a worried lot. Inadequate infrastructure coupled with lack of regular lecturers is reflecting on education.
The department, established in 1999, runs a two-year self-financing PG course in women’s studies. There are 60 students in two batches (30 each). In the absence of full-time faculty members, guest faculty manages the entire workload. Since the founder director of the department Asha Hans retired in 2006, the director post is being managed by lecturers and other HoDs. The present in-charge director of the school is HoD, Sociology, while the course coordinator is a lecturer of Economics department.
“Both are discharging their duties in their respective departments but are not paid anything extra for officiating as director and course coordinator of School of Women’s Studies,” said a student on the condition of anonymity.
Owing to this, the department has allegedly not got any project for the last five years. “We have had only ad hoc directors since 2006. Since there is no permanent director, there has been no initiative on their part to get projects or funds for the department. The last placement drive took place three years ago,’’ he added. Such is the situation that the students of outgoing batch were provided guides from other departments of the varsity, even from RD Women’s College, for dissertation works that they submitted on Wednesday.
Sources said due to dearth of teaching faculty, the department has failed to open an M.Phil course.
There is just one classroom for the 60 students. One batch has to wait till the other’s classes are finished. Students said the classes are usually called off in monsoon due to water seepage from roof and walls of the dilapidated classroom. Although the department has a library that contains books worth lakhs of rupees, it is mostly kept locked in the absence of a librarian. “We have to take our examinations in other departments. Our library has very good books, but ironically, it has not been opened more than once or twice since inception of the school,’’ said another student.
To make things worse, while exams for all the four semesters of 2010-12 have been already held, results of the third semester exams are yet to be published. Due to the delay, many students of the batch have failed to pursue higher studies.
In-charge Director Nabanita Rath said two lecturers would be appointed this month.