DU teachers defy varsity order, don't mark attendance

Teachers have objected to the notification of Delhi University’s registrar according to which despite the suspension of classes on Tuesday, teachers were asked to mark their attendance.

Delhi University Teachers’ Association sent across a message to teachers asking them not to mark their attendance.

The notification stated: “Teaching in colleges and at the postgraduate level will remain suspended. All members of the teaching community shall record their presence in their respective places of work.”

Teachers said because there was no alternative way to mark attendance apart from taking classes and attending meetings, the ‘order’ of marking attendance despite suspension of classes was in tune with the biometric system which they were opposing.

“In many colleges, permanent teachers did not go. Teachers who had meetings went to college,” said a teacher at a North Campus college.

“Ad hoc teachers, which are in huge numbers had to mark their attendance,” said a teacher of a North Campus college.”

“There were instances of college principals forwarding the notification to all, then there were principals who individually decided not to call the teachers. Non-teaching staff was also asked to leave early in many colleges,” the teacher  added.

According to Rajesh Jha, professor of Political Science, the classes were being suspended early for the last few days.

“The attendance of students a few days before Holi is thin, and the early suspension also is a precautionary measure taken to prevent any untoward incident in colleges during this time,” Jha said.

“However, it is the language in the notification which is inappropriate. We are opposing marking attendance in the register, even in the form of biometric system,” Jha added.
DUTA members called this ‘development’ highly unfortunate.

“The vice chancellor (VC) has belittled his own position and exposed his disrespect and bias towards his own colleagues,” DUTA president Amar Deo Sharma.

“Despite the suspension of classes by the university on Tuesday, such a move is indicative of high-handedness, arrogance and distrust on the part of the VC-led university administration,” he said.

“DUTA condemns his irresponsibly worded notice in the strongest terms,” he added.

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