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One teacher for 1024 students

Bhubaneswar, April 22: These are troubled times for the students of commerce at the premier Ramadevi College here. Only one teacher — Sugyani Manjari Jena — is in charge of 10 sections of the department after two senior lecturers retired this March.

“Its one of the worst crisis we have ever faced. Almost 75 per cent classes are getting suspended. The main office of the department remains closed most of the time and it’s difficult to find anyone to discuss the problems we are facing,” said Preeti, a student.

“Classes are generally suspended as there are no teachers. The course does not get completed in time and we are left to study the remaining portions ourselves,” said Lipika, another student.

The problem hasn’t been new to the college. The department had been struggling with just three teachers for the last couple of years. Even then, teachers used to cover only selected topics that they considered more important. The situation worsened after the head of the department Jagdev Sahu and Bimal Prasad Mohapatra retired on March 31.

At present, there are 1,024 students in both first year and second year commerce. While Plus Two commerce has four sections, Plus Three commerce has six. Students are to be taught 10 papers for Plus Two and 19 papers for Plus Three and the workload requires at least eight teachers for the purpose.

Moreover, teachers have the additional task of looking after evaluation and invigilation during exams, form fill-up activities, smooth conduct of seminars, project evaluation and addressing students’ grievances.

“The crisis will multiply once the admission session begins. Managing students will be next to impossible,” said a senior lecturer.

“We had suggested the college authorities to make provisions of managing the college with the retiring staff until some permanent arrangements were made. They could have been paid some amount in addition to their pension. We had also tried to discuss the matter with officials at the department of higher education. But nothing materialised,” said Sahu.

“We are being deprived of our right to get quality education. Time an again we have taken up the issue with the college management but there has been little help. We have heard that the college is in the process of arranging some guest lecturers but little seems to be done,” said Zaheera, another student.

The college has provision for guest faculties but the Rs 3,000 sanctioned for the purpose is too insufficient to avail the services of any teacher, sources said.

Srilekha Ray, the principal of the college, refused to comment on the matter.

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