GUWAHATI, June 22 - Altogether 249 posts of teachers are lying vacant in 10 colleges and one university located in the city. This startling figure has come to light from an official reply to an RTI petition filed by the State unit of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI).
The SFI State unit in a statement here today said Cotton University alone has 149 teachers’ posts lying vacant, including 66 posts in the college section of this nascent State-run university.
As many as 14 posts of teachers are lying vacant in Handique Girls’ College, 12 in B Borooah College, 16 in Arya Vidyapeeth College, 7 in Pandu College, 12 in Karmashree Hiteswar Saikia College, 5 in SB Deorah College, 9 in Pragjyotish College, 9 in Guwahati College, 7 in RG Baruah College, 6 in Gauhati Commerce College and 3 in Lalit Chandra Bharali College.
Nirangkush Nath, secretary of the SFI State unit, said this dismal situation is the result of apathy of the authorities for quite a long time to improve the quality of higher education in the State.
Instead of appointing permanent faculty members, these colleges are being run with contractual teachers – the total number of which stands at 225. In Cotton University, the number of contractual teachers is 22, which completely violates the UGC guideline that proposes the student teacher ratio to be 25:1.
Moreover, the number of vacancies of non-teaching staff in the 11 colleges stands at 113. Cotton University has a total strength of 3,956 students, while it has 73 vacancies against the posts of professors, 53 vacancies against those of associate professors and 69 vacancies against those of assistant professors.
At a time when many students come to Guwahati for their higher studies, the number of seats available in the hostels of the Government colleges is only 1,269, of which 709 are in hostels meant for girl students. Hostel seats of these institutions are far below the requirement of the students.
This picture perhaps also tells a tale about the state of affairs in colleges in other parts of the State. From an answer to a question in the Legislative Assembly, it has come to light that 25,045 students would not be able to get admitted to any educational institution in the State at the undergraduate level.
At a time when the Government is making much fanfare over its scheme for providing free admission to students coming from families having an income of less than Rs 1 lakh, it is really distressful that the free admission scheme does not cover students who will take admission in the fifth semester of Bachelor degree courses and the third semester of Master degree courses.
Students who until now got free admission in the first and third semesters will not be able to avail the scheme in their fifth semester. This will deprive them from pursuing further studies.
The SFI feels that for the last 15 years, the Government has miserably failed to develop the education sector and is just bent on opening colleges without any vision and responsibility, said Nath.