Probe on against four university teachers

As part of its inquiry against four teachers accused of misdemeanours, including harassment of research scholars and dereliction of teaching work, a five-member subcommittee of the Syndicate of the University of Kerala will on Tuesday record statements from students of various teaching departments.

The subcommittee was set up after there were widespread complaints from students of the teaching departments of the university about these teachers.

Detailed complaints

Subcommittee convener P.S. Sreekala told The Hindu here on Monday that one teacher had been accused by students of wanton harassment of research scholars. “The students have given very detailed complaints about these teachers and the complaints include evidence of misdemeanour by these teachers,” she said.

One teacher reportedly would cover only a small portion of what needed to be taught as per the syllabus. In one department, Pro-Vice Chancellor J. Prabhash had to reportedly intervene to get the results published.

“This is because the teacher concerned would not turn up for the department council meetings. So how can the results be approved? This causes a lot of mental agony for the students,” Dr. Sreekala pointed out.

Pro-teacher legacy

The statements of the teachers against whom the inquiry is being done carried out will be recorded on Thursday.

However, the subcommittee may find itself hampered by the traditionally pro-teacher legacy of the University of Kerala when it comes to recommending action, if required, against these teachers.

Dissenting voices

Already there are voices in the university pointing out that these teachers are being vilified by disgruntled students and that any disciplinary action against the teachers would “demoralise the entire teaching community.”

Dr. Sreekala herself admitted that drastic action against these teachers might not be possible for the subcommittee. Moreover, one teacher was scheduled to retire by the end of May, 2012.

Moreover, anything more than a mild ‘action' against an erring teacher is bound to generate protests from teachers' organisations affiliated to the Left and to the Congress, and the subcommittee has its task clearly cut out.