Rohtak: A shortage of qualified teachers and a lackadaisical attitude on part of authorities is jeopardising the future of Haryana’s students. No wonder well-qualified people are applying for the position of peon.
A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India showed that a mere 41 percent of students at colleges under Maharshi Dayanand University (MDU) — one of Haryana’s oldest and largest universities — passed in the year 2015-16.
The pass percentage has been in constant decline since 2012-2013: It was 55 percent only three years ago.
Pass percentage by year:
|Year||Students appeared||Students passed||Pass percentage|
(Data: CAG report)
MDU, which has 249 colleges under it (as of 2017), has reportedly granted affiliation to several institutes which lack necessary infrastructure.
On inspecting 40 random colleges, the CAG found out that 27 lacked proper teaching staff; either there was a shortage of teachers or the teachers hired lacked the necessary qualifications. Sixteen of the 40 colleges lacked proper laboratory equipment.
At Rohtak’s Pt Neki Ram College, the alma-mater of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the number of students admitted was higher than the available seats for both BA and BSc courses.
Some students feel that nepotism is to blame. “Our classrooms are small but the intake is high due to nepotism in admissions. There is also a shortage of faculty. Part-time lecturers have been hired to make up for this. But instead of teaching, they are mostly out protesting to be made permanent," said Mohit Kumar, a final year BA student.
At MDU, the situation is not very different. Students from various departments complain that the 665-acre campus lacks enough laboratories and research facilities. As of 2017, there was also a 26 percent shortfall in the number of teachers: 101 posts were lying vacant. This deteriorating quality of higher education can be seen reflected in the high unemployment rate among Haryana graduates.
Last year, as many as 23,166 people applied for 92 peon jobs in MDU, Rohtak. People holding degrees — MA, M.Ed, and an M.Phil — were all seen applying for the post.
The CAG report pointed out that only 13 percent of students at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) managed to secure jobs in its last two sessions. “The syllabus taught by MDU is ancient. We are still taught subjects such as old JavaServer Pages, telnet, fundamentals of internet which are of no use in present times,” said a fourth year computer science student.
|Year||Admitted students||Placed students||Percentage|
Pradeep Deswal, a PhD law student at MDU and president of the Indian National Students’ Organisation, said students were completely dependent on themselves to prepare for examinations. “As a union leader, most requests I get from students is to get them a seat in the main library. It’s always packed. Teachers at the university are busy attending seminars, conferences and writing research papers,” he said.
We regularly submit memorandums to the vice-chancellor requesting him to take classes. All of it falls on deaf ears,” he added. The CAG report backed Deswal’s claim, highlighting a nearly 50 percent decrease in work load of teachers at the university.
MDU vice-chancellor Bijender Kumar Punia refused to comment. “I have already replied to the CAG officials to whom I was legally bound to answer. They have given us some recommendations which we will follow,” he said.
But the CAG said the university’s replies were unsatisfactory and not precise in several instances. It said MDU did not even analyse its ails and recommended the university adhere to prescribed standards in granting affiliations and improve existing infrastructure.
CDS Ahlawat, an education activist and former director of the MDU-affiliated MR Engineering Institute, said, “Due to political interference, nepotism and corruption, universities have downgraded to mere businesses that are destroying the future of children. Unqualified teachers cannot produce competent students. This leads to unemployment.”
The author is a member of The NewsCart, a Bengaluru-based media startup.
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Updated Date: Apr 05, 2018 15:37:18 IST