TIRUCHY: It's hardly been almost three weeks since colleges reopened but several subjects are being skipped, class hours reduced and online classes cut. The reason? A shortage of staff from termination or resignation during the pandemic, citing salary issues. Many self-financing colleges saw teaching staff fired and strength reducing by half, while some managed to buck the trend and retain.
A senior lecturer from a self-financing college said, "The college management was unable to collect full fees for the last two years and hence did not pay the teachers properly. Also, this year, there was a 10 per cent drop in admissions."
A commerce teacher told TNIE, "Many of the teachers were fired and some quit after their salary was halved. They were paid only `5,000 and told it would not be increased anytime soon. We do not have teachers to handle few subjects and hence do not conduct online classes for those subjects."
A senior lecturer from another college said, "As much as 35 per cent of the college staff were sent off. We are not taking classes for first-year students yet, but will start to do so soon. Finding teachers to handle subjects like commerce, computer science and applications is easy compared to finding for science courses. We are not conducting online classes because of this."
The colleges have reduced the timing of physical classes to around 20 hours a week.
A second-year student of a self-financing college in Tiruchy said that the second- and third-year students have classes on alternate weeks. On days without physical class, their WhatsApp group remains silent.
This was, however, not the case with some popular self-financing colleges, as well as government and aided colleges as they had retained enough teachers.