Barely a week has passed after the reopening of colleges affiliated to the Bharathidasan University, but the anxieties of covering the syllabus within 90 working days in a semester are writ large over the faces of principals of affiliated colleges, particularly government-aided institutions. The tendency of a large number of teachers availing themselves of all the holidays in a year is the main cause for concern for college heads.

For each of the five units in a paper for a semester, a teacher has to handle classes for 16 hours.But teachers who are away from institutions for a substantial period either run slip-shod over the portions or skip the chapters towards the end of the semester citing paucity of time.

Unfortunately, teachers who perform their duties properly and doing justice to their teaching responsibilities constitutes a minority, lamented a principal of a college in Tiruchi.

Even in one of the colleges, teachers were found to have gone on holidays ranging from 25 days to 65 days. “Of course, no one can question the privilege enjoyed by the teachers when it comes to availing of casual leave, earned leave, restricted holidays, medical leave and so on. But, there has to be a provision for making the teachers accountable for the portions they are expected to complete in a semester.

There is no point in encouraging truancy on the part of teachers at the time of faculty shortage,” explained another principal.The move by Bharathidasan University a few years ago to introduce twin holiday system to ensure that the teaching days for students are not cut off , failed to find resonance from teachers.

Besides, the trend of teachers going on leave to attend valuation work in private universities, obviously with an eye on higher remuneration, has sent college heads into a tizzy. The practice all along has been that teachers go on valuation work for universities or other institutions on working days.

Free class hours in colleges are common in January when the second semester begins.For almost a fortnight after the start of the second semester, several teachers go for valuation duty, leaving students in the lurch.

“The university must do away with the practice of inviting teachers for valuation work without informing the respective college head,” said a principal of an autonomous college, observing that the teachers cannot be reined in by regulations.“Instead, teachers must answer themselves whether they are doing justice for the hefty salaries they receive. They should desist from running the risk of losing respect from the student community,” he said.

A communication from the Director of Collegiate Education fixing responsibility on teachers for finishing the portions in time is all what the college heads are looking for.

More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL