Teachers Are Merely Invigilators in UP Degree Colleges

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By Dr. Satish Kumar MMH College, Ghaziabad

Last month the Chairman of the University Grant Commission Mr. Thorat met the Chancellor of UP and talked about improving the quality of higher education in the state. Mr. Thorat mentioned that the performance of the teachers will be scaled by the students through the feed back system. This scaling will be a major yardstick in the promotion of a teacher. In fact, this policy change stands contradictory to the existing system in the different colleges and universities in Uttar Pradesh. The scaling of teachers is possible when academic calendar runs as per the guidelines of the UGC. Moreover, teachers in degree colleges of Uttar Pradesh have been converted from a teacher to merely an invigilator. Their major work is not teaching but conducting the examinations. Almost all the big colleges of UP have become the centers of examinations. There is one such college in Ghaziabad, MMH College. It is big enough to be called a mini university. There are more than 10 thousands students enrolled in the college and the strength of teachers is more than 150. It has been assessed by the NAAC last year and awarded B++. Unfortunately this college like any other colleges of UP has developed the expertise in conducting examinations. Besides regular examinations, the college becomes the centre of other examinations like BSNL, CPMT and scores of others. The University Grants Commission makes it mandatory for universities and colleges to hold classes for every course at the graduate and postgraduate level for a minimum of 180 days every year. Going by simple arithmetic, the Chaudhari Charan Singh University,(CCSU) Meerut and affiliated colleges will barely make beyond the one third of UGC norms. (180 days)

According to the academic schedule for the session 2007-2008 hardly classes were run for a month. However, with delayed results and delayed admissions to the different courses create all the mess. Besides the regular yearly examinations there is system of subsidiary examinations which run for a month. The Uttar Pradesh government has developed another unique feature of re-back examinations which run for another 20 days to a month. The process of admission begins in the month of August and continues till October. Based on similar calculations, the number of working days available between October 15 and March 15 will be 118 for colleges and 102 for the university. Take away from these 13 gazetted holidays and 10 days for the other local holidays: while the colleges will be left with less than 90 days, the university departments will have to do with 80 days only. The regular examinations of the university starts in the month of March which continues till the mid of June. Then there is summer break for one and half month. When college begins the subsidiary examinations are in the pipeline.

Since the colleges have turned to be the centers of examinations, teachers have also developed the expertise in conducting the flawless examinations. There is division of teachers in the different categories to conduct the examinations. Selected teachers with good physique and muscle power are put into flying squad. It is pre-requisite needs to face the challenge from student leaders. The second category come the in- room works which is generally handled by the senior teachers. The biggest lot of teachers is invigilators. One of the senior teachers of the college pointed out categorically “Now the name of the post of lecturer should be changed into invigilator by the UP Higher Education Commission. It should be dubbed as Invigilator, Senior Invigilator and Super Invigilator”. Another teacher remarked that teachers in colleges are equivalent to the peons and clerks. They are also invigilator like any other teacher. Another senior teacher recalled that a teacher of this college performs almost 100 duties as invigilator but his or her class intake hardly crosses in three digits in a year. The duration of examination is

stretched out due to the private students. Thousands of the private students sit in the examinations. The university has clubbed the private and regular students together.

The college administration remains on toe during the examinations. The process of examinations remains free from any mal practices. But the same attention is missing out during the brief academic session of the college. If this is the fact of life who is going to improve the quality of higher education in Uttar Pradesh? Dreams of our great leaders are doomed. Nehru's vision of universities emphasized a liberal education that would develop a wider perspective and build character. A 1986 national policy on education portrays it as a process of empowerment through the development of skills, knowledge and values; and as an instrument of social change, in its provision of opportunities for upward economic and social mobility. In the six decades since independence the Indian higher education system has been transformed from an elite system into a mass system. Today, we have 12,000 colleges. There were just one lakh students then. Today, there are 88 lakh students. There were 15,000 teachers earlier. Today, there are 4,75,000 university and college teachers. The breeding of graduates in large numbers has ignored the quality check in higher education.

UGC blames the state for poor performance of higher education in the respective state. Universities are regulated by the state government. In the last few years UGC has taken certain steps to streamline the higher education by setting up of the National Assessment and Accreditation Council. Though, assessment is voluntary although in future special funding from government agencies may depend on accreditation by these bodies. The University Grants Commission has worked out a broad road map for increasing enrolment and improving quality of higher education in the Eleventh Plan. But the derailed system needs a fundamental change. The radical changes need to be brought about in the system of examination and evaluation because this is one such area that has a direct and strong bearing on the issue. However, the entire schedule of examinations,

evaluation, admission, vacations, and supplementary exams and preparatory is required to be revamped and made time-bond. There are many loopholes in the system. One such major lacuna is the process of evaluation. The evaluation work is executed at a time when the colleges remain closed and the teachers are required to do this job during the vacation period and that too at ‘spot evaluation centers’ away from parent institutions. Though they’re paid TA/DA in addition to remuneration, there is always poor turnout every year at the ‘spot centers’. Consequently, the results are delayed. Unfortunately, while delayed announcement of results adversely affects regular teaching work, it creates panic. The vicious circle of delay undoubtedly begins at this stage which finally culminates in reducing the number of teaching days. The institutes are known by the names of teachers. The fundamental responsibilities of the institutes are to cater quality education to the students through research work. Examinations and other administrative responsibilities are subsidiary for the teachers. But it is unfortunate that the main task of the teacher is synchronizing year after year and other responsibilities are becoming prominent.