Teachers’ body appeals for faculty to teach allied subjects

The Tamil Nadu Association of Intellectuals and Faculty (TAIF) has written to the Higher Education Minister K. Ponmudi, the University of Madras and the Director of College Education to appoint teachers to teach allied courses in private arts and science colleges.

Association secretary M. Govindarasan said private arts and science colleges make do with teachers who are teaching the main courses of BBA degree such as Commerce and Business Administration. This is impacting the students as they do not “acquire adequate academic knowledge,” Mr. Govindarasan said.

According to him, subjects such as Business Economics, Indian Economy, Managerial Economics and International Trade are taught by teachers with M.Com, MBE, MHRM or even MSc degrees in other subjects.

“The allied subjects (Economics, Statistics) are being handled by Commerce and Business Administration teachers and the students are unable to specialise in those particular subjects. The inspection committee appointed by the University does not give enough importance to this. Therefore, we request the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras to take necessary action,” Mr. Govindarasan said in his letter.

Association president A. Balu said: “All Economics papers should be handled by teachers who have a master’s degree in Economics. If Statistics is offered, then it should be taught by a person with a master’s degree in that subject. Instead teachers with M.Sc Mathematics are teaching the subject.”

The association’s query under the RTI Act to the University seeking details of persons teaching subjects not aligned with the course received no proper response. “We sent an application under the RTI Act but the University told us to get the details from the respective colleges. It has been six months now. We have gone on appeal to the appellate authority. So far only a few colleges have responded to our individual queries,” he claimed.

The association members say a team from the University must inspect the colleges’ list of faculty, including their qualification. The inspection team visits every new college for three consecutive years when a programme is introduced, to ensure that the norms are fulfilled.

The association says such mismatches are found across the State, particularly in self-financing and aided colleges.

Even in reputed colleges such practice is rampant, Mr. Balu said. “If a college has 10 sections in B Com then it should appoint at least three or four faculty to teach each of the allied subjects. Yet, it is common for colleges to depute their permanent staff to teach other subjects,” he explained.

Such a scenario is rare in established government colleges where the subject is offered only by the respective subject expert. It is only the new colleges where faculty appointments have not been done yet, he added.