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Teachers unite over whip and woes
- Meeting to rectify college ailments

Guwahati, Oct. 29: College teachers in Assam today turned the whip on themselves during a soul-searching meeting on the evils plaguing the education sector and the means to rectify them.

The Assam College Teachers’ Association, the Assam College Principals’ Council and the All Assam Students’ Union today held a daylong meeting during which they adopted resolutions to stop teachers from providing private tuition, bunking classes and making mistakes in answerscripts evaluation. They also sought to do away with political interference in running educational institutions.

The general secretary of the teachers’ association, Biswajit Bhuyan, told the media that there was no denying the fact that the education sector in the state was ailing on several fronts and something must be done drastically to find a solution.

He said the meeting was the beginning of a long and sustained initiative to streamline the education sector.

“According to the new guidelines of the University Grants Commission, a teacher has to devote six hours and 40 minutes everyday in college for teaching and research purposes. There are allegations that some teachers do not spend time in colleges and undertake private tuition instead. The meeting discussed the problem in detail and resolved to do away with the menace. The teachers’ association has demanded installation of card punching machines in colleges to monitor teachers’ arrival and departure timings. We will even pressure the government to take punitive action against teachers involved in private tuition,” Bhuyan said.

“It is a very significant development that the state government has decided to ban appointment of politicians as chairpersons of the governing bodies of colleges. We will pressure the government not to appoint politicians even as members of the governing bodies,” Hitesh Deka, a member of the principals’ council, said.

AASU adviser Sammujjal Bhattacharyya said the meeting also laid emphasis on exploring a scientific evaluation system of answerscripts.

“Teachers must be trained on scientific evaluation. Principals and teachers had agreed that punitive action must be taken against those teachers who are not serious and commit mistakes in evaluation of answerscripts,” Bhattacharyya said.

He said the meeting had agreed in principle to introduce the semester system in Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University.

“While vacant posts of teachers must be filled immediately, the government must create new posts to maintain a healthy teacher:student ratio. A delegation of three organisations will meet the vice chancellors of Gauhati University and Dibrugarh University on November 9 and 10 to discuss the semester system,” Bhattacharyya said.

The meeting also discussed the government’s plan to bifurcate higher secondary classes from degree colleges.

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