GUWAHATI, March 18 - With the Model Code of Conduct coming into effect, problems have compounded for the State’s government-aided colleges that were expecting some sort of government intervention to roll back the order of the education department banning recruitment of part-time and contractual teachers and staff in such colleges of Assam.
The order would badly affect the functioning of each and every provincialised college of the State, creating an acute crisis of both teaching and non-teaching staff.
More than 200 provincialised colleges of the State, would be adversely affected due to the order. “We have asked Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to intervene in the matter and save the colleges from this crisis situation by keeping the government order in abeyance till all the sanctioned vacant posts are filled and additional required number of posts are created for smooth running of undergraduate and post graduate classes,” president of the Assam College Teachers’ Association Biswajit Bhuyan told The Assam Tribune.
Not getting a favourable response from the State Education Minister, the teachers’ body approached the Chief Minister and sought his intervention. A number of college principals also met the CM in Dibrugarh apprising him of the possible consequences of implementing the order with its present deadline.
“The colleges have been asked to implement the order in March and send the compliance report in April, which is a big challenge ahead for all the provincialised colleges of the State. While we are yet to get any confirmation about some positive action on this front, implementation of the Model Code of Conduct would make it difficult for the government to roll back the order,” Bhuyan added.
It has been a standard practice to engage part-time or contractual teachers in the colleges since very few regular posts have been created in the government colleges since 1992.
Some departments in some of the government-aided colleges face the threat of coming to a standstill as a result of this order. Moreover, non-availability of sanctioned posts would badly hit the functioning of college laboratories and hostels. The order will also affect college chowkidars, sweepers, etc. Besides, thousands of families dependent on the income of contractual teachers and staff would face hardships due to the order.
There are several instances where an entire department is running on contractual teachers. “With two of its teachers retired and one leaving the job, the Sanskrit department of Nowgong College is being run by contractual teachers for the past six months. Now, if they are to leave, who will teach the students already admitted for a three-year course?” sources in the college wondered.
Questions are also being raised regarding a part of the government order where it warns the college principals and college governing bodies against violation of the government order.
“The governing body comprises members from the public including guardian representatives, university nominees, retired teachers, etc. The government cannot hold them responsible for non-compliance with the order. It is being seen as a very rude attitude,” sources in the governing body of a college added.