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College faces faculty crunch

Jorhat, Jan. 29: JB College, Jorhat, the premier institute in Upper Assam and the second college to be set up in the state after Cotton College, is facing problems because of shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Blaming the government for being lethargic in granting permission to begin the recruitment procedure after a number of teachers retired in the early part of 2013, a source in the institute said this was especially affecting the practical classes.

“Teachers of the zoology, botany and mathematics departments have retired last year but the government is yet to grant permission to begin the appointment process. The process should have been over and the teachers appointed within six months as we are now into the semester system in the undergraduate courses. However, now two semesters are almost over without the government bothering to give its assent,” he said.

There is an acute shortage of mathematics teacher in the college, so the few that are there have to take classes in both the commerce and the science departments.

The college is also functioning without six laboratory bearers who have retired in the past two years.

“The recruitment process is over but the government is yet to sign the appointment letters. With the posts of demonstrators being abolished a few years ago, teachers themselves are now mixing salts and doing other tasks, which were earlier done by the demonstrators or laboratory bearers. A few students have also complained that there are inadequate number of cockroach or frog specimens for practical dissection,” he said.

Even after the appointment of a teacher is over, the woes of a college do not end as the finance department takes about six months to release the salary of the new employee after he/she is appointed.

In the meantime, the college doles out whatever it can from its reserve funds to the new appointee for about six months but this is now being objected by the audit department.

“This is true not only of JB College but all the other colleges in the state,” a source said.

The Hindi department of the college has only one teacher and another has been appointed on an ad hoc basis.

The source said while the government had reduced the number of posts it had not abolished the higher secondary sections from the colleges, thus burdening the teachers.

“Once the third year starts it will be very difficult to continue with just two teachers who will not only have to take care of students in three batches in the undergraduate stream but also take classes in the arts, science and commerce sections of the first year and second year higher secondary course,” he said.

The college started the Hindi undergraduate course, only after they found that very few students could qualify as Hindi teachers for the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) held in the state over the past three years.

The source said the number of teachers in the English department was also woefully short.

Besides usual higher secondary, undergraduate and major classes, the teachers also had to take alternative English classes.


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