SOL teachers cry foul over roping in outside help

Absenteeism is major problem, says DU admin

The Delhi University’s School of Open Learning came under attack from teacher groups for roping in outside help in organising classroom lectures and discussions under Personal Contact Programme (PCP).

Both DU and SOL teacher associations on Tuesday alleged that university’s distance learning is paying through its nose for seeking outside help.

“The power and functions of organising the PCP were taken over in an arbitrary manner and given away to the principals and the administrative staff of different colleges at a huge financial cost,” the teacher associations in a joint statement said.

“The department-wise list of the resource persons which used to be prepared by the various departments / PCP committee of the staff council were handed over to the principals by the SOL administration without their knowledge,” it said.

Teacher groups alleged the governing body of the SOL has taken over the academic powers of the staff council, which includes preparing the time table, organising classes for the students, giving teaching assignments and selecting books for library purchase.
SOL director CS Dubey, however, claimed that they hire outside help because of increasing student intake and teacher absenteeism. 

“Teachers have missed their invigilation duty. And they do not have the study material ready as yet,” he said, while adding that the teaching role at SOL entails preparing study material like textbooks, multimedia content and video lectures.

Critics also questioned the rising cost of running PCP at various study centres.
Teacher association said that SOL spends at least Rs 22 lakh each in organising the programme at its 30 study centres. 

“The conduct of PCP at various centres on sundays and holidays used to cost anything between Rs 1 to 3 lakh rupees per centre depending on the student enrolment excluding the payment to the resource persons. Now in the new proposal, the chairman has offered more than Rs 8 lakh for the same which includes Rs 25000 per month to the principals, Rs 16,000 to the observers and administrative officers, etc.” the statement added.

According to a university resolution, a principal or professor is entitled for a monthly honorarium of Rs 5000 per month. The associate professors and assistant professors are entitled for Rs 3,000 and 2,500 per month respectively.

Dubey, however, insisted that university norms were not being violated. He said the revised salary was passed by the SOL governing body meeting.

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