Special Correspondent

KANNUR: Dismissing the claim of the Kannur University authorities that reluctance of many college teachers to accept paper valuation assignments is hindering the university's efforts to get the degree results published in time, college teachers have contented that the shortage of regular teachers in colleges and the huge increase in the number of papers from the distance education stream are the major factors affecting the valuation work.

Reacting to the university authorities' claim in a report in The Hindu on May 13, Balachandran Keezhoth, State working committee member of the Kerala Private College Teachers' Association (KPCTA), said the shortage of teachers in colleges was reflected in the valuation camps.

He said no teaching posts had been sanctioned to aided colleges for courses sanctioned between 1998 and 2001. It was recently that the government had decided to sanction teaching posts to fill more than the 1,000-odd vacancies in colleges in the State. However, no government order in this regard had been issued so far.

Unfilled vacancies

Dr. Keezhoth said that retirement vacancies from 1997 to 2010 also remained unfilled.

He said the huge increase in the number of examination papers from the distance education stream was making the situation worse.

The separation of the distance education stream from the regular stream of the university was the only alternative.

The Kerala State Higher Education Council had recommended the separation of the regular and the distance education streams by 2009, he said.

The council had proposed the setting up of an open university for students under the distance education scheme and private registration for them to pursue their studies. It had also recommended that the government compensate the universities for loss in revenue from delinking distance education/private registration.

On the proposal to rope in teachers from self-financing colleges for the paper valuation, Dr. Keezhoth said the university had no control over the teachers in unaided colleges.

N. Sajan, head of the English Department at S.N. College here, said the large number of papers for valuation, especially English papers and including those from the distance education stream, made valuation an ongoing process.

If all the teachers did valuation work for the university year in and year out, regular work in colleges would be badly hit.