BENGALURU: The huge number of vacancies in government colleges seems to have affected the PU board examination results. The state-wide pass percentage in board examinations touched the 60% mark only once in the past 15 years, that was in 2014.
Citing examples of how students are affected, Thimmaiah Purle, president of the Karnataka State PU College Lecturers’ Association, said, “A PU college in Shahapur taluk of Gulbarga district was working without an English lecturer for 12 years,” he said.
He said that a college in Gangavati taluk of Koppal packed scores of students from different sections in a single room for combined lectures to make up for the shortage of lecturers.
However, PU department officials denied that shortage of lecturers is hampering students.
V K Nagaraj, joint director (Education) said colleges get the syllabus completed using the services of guest lecturers from aided colleges and other government colleges in the vicinity. In some cases, staffers from colleges that may have excess faculty are deputed to such institutions, he added.
Explaining the situation in remote areas, he said: “There we permit the principals to hire people from local areas. But it is mandatory that the guest lecturers have a masters degree in Kannada,” he said.
However, Purle claimed the phenomenon of guest lecturers is largely restricted to urban centres. “Guest lecturers simply do not want to come to colleges in rural areas,” he said.
PU officials said the problem of lecturers not willing to be deputed to some parts of the state is not a concern. “There is no way they can excuse themselves, unless they cite medical reasons,” Nagaraj said.
“Lecturers are in a quandary. The already-overloaded lecturers have to handle multiple subjects, including those they have never taught before, and merge sections to conduct combined classes. The strength of such combined classes at times exceeds a couple of hundreds. In such a case, how can they expect us to deliver results? If the situation continues, we, lecturers, may have no option other than boycotting evaluation of PU examination answer scripts”
said Thimmaiah Purle, president of Karnataka State PU College Lecturers’ Association.
‘Red tape to blame’
“When a vacancy arises in a private college, its management can take a quick decision and fill it, but that isn’t the case with government PU colleges. With consent of multiple departments and agencies needed, even for minor decisions, there’s increased delay and piling up of vacancies. This situation isn’t unique to government PU colleges, but extends to government degree colleges and schools as well” said Dr K Seshamurthy, principal of Vijaya PU College, Bengaluru.