Teacher shortage hits Allahabad UniversityNews »
Teacher shortage hits Allahabad University
“If today is so dark, how will tomorrow unfold for us? We too want to learn and fly high. However, to our dismay, we are facing the harsh truth of having no teachers in the department.”
These are some lines from a letter written to the vice – chancellor of Allahabad University, Prof AK Singh, by the girl students of AU’s department of Home Science. In the letter, the girls have narrated the sorry state of affairs at the department which is struggling to cope with the challenge of imparting education to the enrolled students with just one faculty member who teaches both BSc and MSc classes.
The students of BSc said the course has 15 practical and 18 written exams in their course but the single faculty member, who is also the head of the department, not only manages these but also the routine work of the department.
While the letter is written by students of just one department at AU, it may only be the tip of the iceberg as far the problem of teachers’ shortage at AU is concerned. As against the ideal Teacher Taught Ratio ( TTR ) of 1:15 set by the University Grants Commission ( UGC ), most departments of AU are struggling at a TTR of around 1:60.
The seriousness of the matter can be gauged by the fact that out of 852 sanctioned posts of teachers, AU presently has just around 350 teachers, including the 56 newly recruited teachers, for around 25000 students pursuing various undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the campus.
Thus, around 500 teaching positions are lying vacant at AU. Situation at some of the departments, like Ancient History, Medieval History, Hindi, Political Science, Sanskrit, Chemistry, and Physics etc is much worse.
“We do not get the desired attention from our teachers just because they are overburdened with work. At least they claim so as the entire year passes and some of the teachers take just five to ten lectures. The entire course ultimately has to be studied by the individual student only. They say since there are more students to handle, they can’t teach us something extra even if they want to, and eventually we suffer on the knowledge part,” said a student of BA III.
“A lot of research scholars teach in different departments because there is a shortage of teachers. Undoubtedly, they are all bright students but learning something from a professor, who has deep knowledge of his subject and years of experience is far different,” added another student of BSc.
Recently, AU authorities conducted selection committees of 18 departments among which 56 candidates were found suitable for the post of professor, associate professor and assistant professor. For combined posts of 182, AU found only 52 assistant professors ( lecturer ) against the advertised posts of 114, one associate professor against 42 advertised posts and 3 professors amongst 26 advertised posts.
Posts, which failed to get filled, the experts of the selection committee could not found suitable candidates and hence ‘NFS’ ( none found suitable ) was mentioned in front of over half of the advertised posts, especially that in front of 42 advertised posts of associate professor wherein AU got just One suitable candidate.
Meanwhile, just as the TTR at AU is declining fast, around 35 teachers retired from AU in the last three sessions.
“Earlier, the retirement age of teachers at AU was 60 which was later raised to 62 and now teachers retire at 65. And still, retiring teachers serve AU as guest lecturers for around five years more.
If the older generation does not make space for the younger generation, will it not be doing injustice to our students, who will get chance to serve this illustrious institution for many more years,” said Prof MC Sharma of the department of Physics, AU.