The auditorium of Shri Ram College of Commerce in Delhi University’s North Campus was fully packed as hundreds of teachers attended the DU Teachers’ Association’s (DUTA) General Body Meeting on Saturday morning.The teachers decided to continue the boycott of evaluation till 2nd June 2016.They have also decided to hold a “People’s March to Parliament” on 30th May 2016.
The teachers are opposing a University Grants Commission (UGC) notification,which increased the workload of assistant professors from 16 hours of ‘direct teaching’ to 24 hours per week.For associate professors,it went up from 14 to 22 hours per week.
“Today’s General Body Meeting (GBM) of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) witnessed a historic gathering in which teachers resolved to take the attack to the Government’s doorstep and build a mass movement against its draconian policy of draining academic talent from public-funded universities and facilitating privatisation through the backdoor,” said Nandita Narain,DUTA president.
DUTA has also been getting support from other teachers organisations across the country including the Fraternal Teachers Associations in Delhi,Haryana,Punjab,Maharashtra and the All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (AIFUCTO).
“It (DUTA) has decided to extend evaluation boycott for five days and has given a call for a Peoples Protest March to the Parliament on Monday.Student organisations and member associations of the FEDCUTA and the two State universities,IPUTA and AUDFA, are expected to participate in the March as well” the statement added.
While the continued boycott of evaluation process is likely to delay results this year, teachers have decided to go on with it.
The protesting teachers are demanding “immediate withdrawal of the recent UGC amendments and a complete scrapping of the current API-system”, “restoration of public spending on higher education and greater allocation to the UGC in the Budget”, “release of the second tranche of teaching posts as promised under the OBC-Expansion Scheme”.
Teachers have also threatened to boycott the admission process if the Human Resources Ministry does not act upon their demands. Admissions to undergraduate courses in the university are going to start from 1st June 2016 and the process will be completely online this year.
The association’s extended executive will meet again on Wednesday, June 1, “to review the situation and to suggest ways to strengthen the struggle” and an another General Body Meeting (GBM) is scheduled for 2nd June 2016.Several student organisations have already expressed support for the agitating teachers and the DUTA statements says that the 30th May march will be joined by research scholars and their families.
In the API system for promotions, teachers object to the inclusion of student-feedback which, they say, “has the potential of damaging student-teacher relationships and compromising the discipline and rigour of the teaching-learning process.”
Also, the API system demands that assistant professors teach at least 600 lectures per year to be considered. The DUTA calls this an “impossible API target…which boils down to 20 hours per week in a semester of 15 weeks“
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