Hence, it will soon be a mandatory for teachers in all 450 Government colleges across Bengal to put in a minimum of five working hours on daily basis (i.e. Six days a week). This rule, which the higher education department is set to notify through a circular, is likely to come into existence from 1st of November.
In 1999, a similar circular was issued by the Left Front government but, wasn't implemented. The Bratya Basu-led higher education department is, however, determined to bring teacher's working hours in line with the recommendations of the University Grants commission (UGC), which wants a 40-hour working hours in a letter to the department last month.
A senior official of Higher Education said media that "It is necessary for teachers to be present in college at least five hours every day. The Government will provide the necessary space infrastructure to colleges. The state Government is implementing the career Advancement Scheme from November1 (Which will see M.Phil and PhD holders get a pay hike and promotions in some cases). We plan to issue the guideline the same month".
He also said that "The Government may also specify the teaching hours of lecturers, readers and professors. In case of lecturers and assistant professors, 16 hours a week is mandatory. In case of readers and professors, it is 14 hours. A relaxation of two hours may be given to professors who are involved in research".
Well, the minimum number of mandatory working days in Government colleges will be specified as well. "Colleges must have 180 actual teaching days, which means a minimum of 30 weeks of teaching in the academic year. Ten weeks may be denoted to administrative and examination activities and non-instructional days like the sports. Ten more weeks will account for vacations in a year and two weeks for other activities", he added.
Another senior Government official said "We cannot let this happen. Private tuition's have become lucrative business for many college teachers". The move was promoted by a flood of complaints about teachers not attending college for more than 2 or 3 hours in many colleges.
Principal of Ashutosh College, Dipak Kar says no records of teachers working hours aer maintained. Preenan Sarkar, third-year statistics student at Maulana Azad College, says the students lose interest when a teacher is irregular.
However, the rule is fixed and applies from Nov1, 2013.
What do you think? Will this bring changes in Higher Education in Bengal.