Guwahati, Aug. 31: College teachers in Assam have decided to dump Dispur’s initiative of installing electronic attendance recording device and closed circuit television cameras at institutes for effective surveillance, alleging that monitoring their sincerity through gadgets was an insult to the noble profession.
The 39th annual conference of Assam College Teachers’ Association (ACTA), which concluded in Karimganj district on Tuesday, adopted a formal resolution in this regard.
Association general secretary Jyoti Kamal Hazarika told The Telegraph today that the resolution was passed unanimously in the conference and all teachers and ACTA units in different colleges have been asked to convert the resolution into practice from Teachers’ Day on September 5.
“According to the decision, college teachers will avoid marking their attendance through electronic attendance recording device or bio-metric punching machines from September 5. They will go back to the manual system of registering their attendance. We also vehemently oppose the installation of security cameras at colleges,” Hazarika said.
The directorate of higher education last year had issued a directive asking the colleges to install electronic attendance recording device and CCTV cameras to effectively monitor teachers’ works.
The move comes after Dispur received reports and allegations that many teachers did not spend the minimum six hours and 40 minutes in a day as stipulated by University Grants Commission (UGC) in their colleges, which affected the quality of teaching.
There were also reports that a few teachers spent several hours giving private tuition and attended only an hour at their colleges.
Sources said a majority of colleges have already installed the gadgets, which record the entry and exit of college teachers. “There are many sincere teachers who spend more than eight to nine hours in their colleges. For them, installation of such devices is very insulting as they are being used to monitor their sincerity and dedication. Colleges cannot be treated as corporate houses,” Hazarika said.
He will soon hand over charge to Biswajit Bhuyan of Nowgaon College and said since the government has not installed such devices in other departments and offices, many teachers have felt the move in colleges depicts a negative image of teachers.
Satyendra Nath Bordoloi, principal of B. Borooah College, said he is bound to implement the government’s instruction.
He said the college has introduced both devices as instructed by the Assam government.
Indira Bardoloi, principal of Handique Girls’ College, refused to comment on the association’s decision.
“I am waiting to see how teachers of my college respond to the decision,” Bardoloi said.
Teachers of Cotton College and other government colleges would not be affected by ACTA’s decision, since they are not affiliated to the association.