Guest faculty fear job loss if aided college staff teach at govt institutions

Guest faculty fear job loss if aided  college staff teach at govt institutions

 The 10,000-strong guest lecturers across the State are fretting about a recent decision by the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE) to appoint permanent teachers from aided colleges to share the workload in government institutions.

Many of them fear they will lose jobs once lecturers from aided colleges also start teaching at government institutions.

Reports of several guest lecturers being relieved soon after the government’s decision have only raised questions about their future. A guest lecturer in the political science at Government First Grade College, Kunigal, and another teaching economics at the Government First Grade College, Sira, were asked to not report for work, according to a representative of guest faculty members in Tumkur district.

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), which is monitoring the impact of the decision, said that it had information about 16 similar cases where guest lecturers had been relieved.

The DCE decision aims to reduce the workload of overburdened government colleges, by using lecturers who are not able to complete their full working hours in private institutions.

“The lack of enrolment in colleges has led to lecturers not being able to fulfill their full working hours,” the DCE circular read. While the DCE says the decision is “only to help colleges having less staff but more workload,” guest lecturers maintain it will have a “direct bearing” on their future.

As per the present rules, a guest lecturer has to teach for eight hours per week and a permanent teacher 16 to 20 hours.

“If a permanent lecturer (in a private college) takes up work in any government college as per this decision, it will drive at least two guest lecturers out of jobs,” a guest lecturer from Hoskote said. “There are five guest lecturers in my department. It will take only two permanent faculty members to end our livelihood.”

But what has really incensed the guest lecturers is that “nothing has been communicated to us” about the implications of this decision. “I asked my college principal and even inquired with the department about how it will impact us. But there was no satisfactory reply,” the lecturer from Hoskote claimed.

When contacted, Minister for Higher Education, R V Deshpande, said that while his sympathies were with the guest lecturers, the problem was “not very serious”.

“Guest lecturers are appointed on an ad hoc basis and are paid Rs 8,000-9,000. In contrast, many permanent teachers do not have any work but are being paid as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) scale,” Deshpande told Deccan Herald.

“I have an obligation to ensure public money is not wasted. Even if a problem arises, it would not affect more than 300 guest lecturers. Still I will try to find a solution if the matter is brought to my notice.”

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