GUWAHATI, March 23 - The Government College of Art and Craft, situated at Basistha here, has been suffering from staff and infrastructure crisis, alleged members of the institution’s student union.
“There are altogether four departments – sculpture, painting, graphics and applied art – in our college. For every department the government has allotted five posts of teacher, but now only two permanent teachers in the sculpture department and one permanent teacher in applied art department have been appointed by the State government. On the other hand, the painting and graphics departments have no permanent teacher at present. Moreover, there is only one permanent non-teaching staff currently working here,” Rudrankar Hazarika, general secretary of the Government College of Art and Craft Students’ Union told The Assam Tribune.
According to Hazarika, from 2008 no permanent teacher has been appointed in the college. What is more worrisome is, the applied art department will have no permanent teacher after the only teacher serving there retires after one year.
“The three permanent teachers manage all classes of our five-year course, which badly affects the academic environment in the college. The whole problem arises only because our college is running under the Department of Cultural Affairs of the State government. If the State government really wants to develop the college then it should hand it over to the education department,” he asserted.
Hazarika also alleged that the college has only one computer in working condition, due to which classes of the graphics course are still going on in the manual method and the applied art department still lacks an animation syllabus.
At present altogether 180 students are enrolled in various courses offered by the college. Sadly enough, there is no hostel facility either for boys or girls, canteen, playground, auditorium and even the boundary wall.
“Our college does not have even a proper lavatory and drinking water facility. Earlier there was a college bus service, but for many days now it has not been in running condition. We also face fund crunch to conduct any programme or an excursion,” he rued.
Recently Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi inspected the college and directed officials concerned to take necessary measures to address all the issues plaguing the institution. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal also met the student union body members at Basistha Police Station when they were arrested while demonstrating over the woes facing the college.
“Both the Governor and the Chief Minister had assured us of addressing all issues. But till date we have not seen any positive result. Around six bighas of our college land are under encroachment and repeated requests to the district administration to evict the encroachers have not yielded any results,” he said.
The student leader also alleged that the course module of the college is outdated, due to which its students are now unable to enrol in any good institution of the country for higher education.
“There is also a lack of proper utilisation of government fund in the college as it lacks an official bank account,” Hazarika added.