Ad hoc teachers fear losing jobs

Specialised profs feel 4-year-grad programme poses threat to them

Ad hoc teachers of Delhi University fear they will lose their jobs if the four-year graduate programme is implemented from the 2013 academic session.

The new graduation course structure will have vocational and generic subjects common to all streams for the first year. In the second year, apart from these subjects, credit transfer system will also be included.

“Because there has been no blueprint, we have no clue how the workload will be divided. Specialised papers will not be taught till the third year. Therefore, teachers who are on ad hoc basis specialising in these papers will be asked to become guest lecturers,” said an English language ad hoc teacher in North Campus.

DU has approximately 40 per cent ad hoc teachers. Under the new structure, a student can exit after two years and get an associate degree or diploma and a general degree after finishing three years.

An Honours degree will only be given after completion of four years.  “Students interested in pure sciences or liberal arts will be wasting two years. It is only in the third year that the student will be able to decide and choose subjects of his or her choice,” said Abha Dev Habib, professor of Physics at Miranda House.

Calculating the workload in terms of the number of papers, students and classes will be difficult, and departments will be unsure if they need to keep ad hoc teachers or relieve them.  

“From the second year, there will be a credit transfer system where students can choose one or more papers of the same subject or any other paper based on their interest.

Since students are allowed to choose across disciplines, teachers cannot calculate how many students will appear for the paper in the next semester,” said Naveen Gaur, professor of Dyal Singh College. Students will also be given credit points depending on their performance in extracurricular activities and sports.

“There are research scholars and PhD holders languishing already in the country. The number of unemployed people in these sections will only rise. Such schemes are extremely discouraging for the handful who choose academics over other careers,” said another ad hoc professor of Political Science. Habib is questioning the prospects of teaching professional courses in higher education.

“When students from engineering, management and medical backgrounds are not getting jobs, there is no point in diluting pure arts and sciences and converting them into vocational courses, that too for over a lakh students. This course will create a market for contractual teaching jobs for a few months a year,” said Habib.

Teachers are concerned about the vacant 4,000 teaching posts in the varsity, and implementation of the four-year graduation programme next year.

“There will be many ad hoc teachers who will be asked to leave as the scope of specialised teaching will be reduced. That is one of the reasons why teaching posts have not been filled,” said a professor of Ramjas College.

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