Doing away with ad hoc teachers-The Hindu-07-01-2020

Delhi University ad-hoc teachers demand job regularisation.


The ad-hoc teachers are demanding absorption and promotions for all.

They also appealed to all teacher staff associations and the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) to take forward the protest by boycotting all invigilation, and evaluation of exam papers.
A circular issued by the Delhi University was seen by the ad hoc teachers who constitute an estimated 4,500 in Delhi University, as an attempt to hire them as guest teachers instead. Given that such a move would disadvantage them further has prompted the ad-hoc teachers to protest.


Thousands of Delhi University teachers on Monday held a massive march in the city to demand that ad-hoc teachers be regularised, and threatened to intensify their movement if their demand was not acceded to.

The protesters, including hundreds of ad-hoc teachers, marched to Jantar Mantar through Rajiv Chowk against the Union HRD Ministry's and Delhi University's decision to demote them to guest lecturers.

They also appealed to all teacher staff associations and the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) to take forward the protest by boycotting all invigilation, and evaluation of exam papers.

The ad-hoc teachers are demanding absorption and promotions for all.

The teachers were protesting against the "repressive MHRD-UGC-VC nexus which is hell-bent on converting ad hoc teachers to guest faculty", they said, according to a statement by Academics for Action and Development (AAD).
It termed as denial of justice the "intent not to count all ad hoc teaching experience for promotions".

It termed the appointments through interviews as "nothing but the sacrificial altar for ad hoc colleagues bringing about massive displacement".

"If the authorities do not listen to us, AAD is committed to intensify the movement. We appeal to all Staff Associations and DUTA to carry forward the movement ensuring no invigilation and no evaluation happens in any centre or in any college.

"Any attempt to de-mobilize this agitation will be backstabbing the collective aspirations of ad hoc teachers for permanent absorption. Shockingly, there are attempts from the authorities and some people close to them to divide and demobilise.

"We have to ensure that these attempts to demobilise are foiled. Today, teachers have bravely broken the barricades and courted arrest. We salute their courage and conviction. Many more barricades may be overcome to realise the dream of permanent absorption," it said.


Against UGC guidelines:

The UGC guidelines stipulate the universities to absorb the ad-hoc teachers into the permanent grade in the longer run. Despite the guidelines, many ad-hoc teachers are hired only for a fixed number of months, and at the end of every academic session, they are removed.

Lack of growth opportunities:

These ad-hoc teachers remain on the periphery of the education system with very little opportunity to grow and increase their capabilities. They are often not considered in government efforts like teacher training.

They are often not allowed to mingle with the mainstream segment of teachers or considered equal to them even when they fulfil the rigorous guidelines that the UGC has laid down for the recruitment of teachers to permanent positions.

Lack of motivation:

Given the uncertainty in the service conditions, the concern of job security drives them to appear for interviews at different places at the start of each academic session. This leads to a shortage of time and resources to improve their abilities in teaching.

Ad-hoc teachers are often subjected to humiliation and exploitation. They do not receive the full salary that they are entitled to in accordance with the guidelines of the UGC. They often work at salaries less than the stipulated amounts. The problem of underpayment of temporary and contractual teachers is mostly seen in private universities and colleges.

Even the best of educators, if they are operating under the fear of expulsion or financial stress, are less likely to perform their roles well.

Effect on educational outcomes

The effect of the increasing ad-hocism and the challenges faced by such ad-hoc teachers can have a profound impact on the educational outcomes.

When a well-qualified teacher is compelled to bear the brunt of financial exploitation, he or she seeks other avenues to enhance the income and often resorts to private coaching and tuition classes. The quality of educational inputs in colleges declines considerably.

The mushrooming private coaching will place the students from economically weaker sections at a disadvantageous position.

Effect on the economy:

The poor quality of teaching leads to a general lack of motivation and interest even amongst the students. Industries cite skill shortage as one of the major factors contributing to the mounting number of unemployed graduates.

Given the fact that higher education is a core ingredient of the development of a country, any underperformance in the higher education system will have a profound effect on the country at large.
Revamping the education policy:

Given the importance of human capital and skill acquisition in emerging economies like India, and the perils of neglecting them on India’s development prospects, there is the need to revamp the flawed education policy which has created and encouraged ad hocism in the higher education system.

Other reforms:

Teacher development programmes should lie at the foundation of any effort to invigorate the education system in India. This effort should also involve ad hoc teachers.

The reforms in the higher education system should focus on enforcing higher standards of transparency in the working of the institutes and universities which will help check if they are following the UGC guidelines and hold them accountable.

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