TIRUCHI The Association of University Teachers (AUT) on Sunday resolved to urge the Central Government to scrap forthwith the National Education Policy (NEP) - 2020, with the criticism that it commercialises education in general and higher education in particular.
Several resolutions highlighting the interventions required for rectifying the prevailing state of higher education were adopted at a meeting of its General Council here.
On NEP 2020, the resolution said the policy squeezes the public-funded subsidised education and replacing it with price-tagged education through private enterprises, rendering insigniificant the Acts, Orders and Rules that govern the existing institutions.
M. S. Bala Murugan, State General Secretary of AUT, questioned the State Government for not taking action against private colleges found to indulging in rule violations. The meeting, he said, took serious exception to the ‘utter indifference’ of the Department of Higher Education to violations of admission guidelines by private higher educational institutions. The Government has to initiate urgent steps to extend Single Window System of admissions to students of Arts and Science Colleges in the State.
Citing the initiative taken in Kerala, Prof. Bala Murugan said government aided colleges must be prevented from offering self-financing courses through an appropriate amendment in Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act, 1976.
Welcoming the reconstitution of the Fee Fixation Committee to determine the fee structure for self-financing courses in aided colleges and courses in self-financing colleges, the AUT emphasised on differential fixation under the two categories, reasoning out that the former category of institutions divert infrastructure created out of public funds while the latter build them on their own.
The general council placed on record its serious concern over the non-adherence to Career Advancement Scheme by certain managements of aided colleges, using it as a tool to victimise the teachers.
By another resolution, the AUT exhorted the State Government to enhance consolidated pay for teachers working as guest lecturers in erstwhile constituent colleges of universities, as per the UGC guidelines.
All educational institutions in the State must constitute Internal Complaints Committee as per the Sexual Harassment (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and the UGC Regulations, 2015, the General Council meeting emphasised.
The speakers at the meeting drew attention to what they termed as ‘indiscriminate violation’: of seniority norms in appointment/ nomination of Heads of Departments in aided colleges, and sought issuance of proceedings by the Director of Collegiate Education for compliance with seniority norms.
There must be clear orders for re-employment of teachers who superannuate in the middle of the academic year.
The General Council also urged the UGC and Union Education Ministry to make adherence to government rules binding for the colleges as a pre-requisite for seeking accreditation.