The order of the Director of Collegiate Education asking the teaching and non-teaching staff of government and private colleges to report to duty amid the lockdown has put the education fraternity in a quandary as the ‘sudden’ order has thrown up various practical problems.
The main problem is of conveyance, in the absence of public transport from different places to the institutions daily. An assistant professor in a government college in Anekal, Bengaluru, said that she had to hire a car to reach work everyday. “We cannot even share our rides and rates are exuberant. It is unfair to ask to people to come to work in the absence of public transport,” she said.
T.M. Manjunatha, president, Karnataka Government College Teachers’ Association, while welcoming the move of the department to resume work on campuses, said that the government should exempt those who need to report to work but were stranded in their native places and those who travel from other districts.
The unanswered question is whether the normal quarantine rules apply to them if they make inter-district travel to report to duty.
The president of the Akkamahadevi Women’s University College Teachers’ Association Lingaraj Angadi said, “My institution is located in the containment zone of Hubballi. I have to plead with the police to allow me in.”
Karnataka Rajya Mahavidyalaya Shikshaka Sangha has written to Commissioner of Collegiate Education on the issue seeking exemption for the teachers from attending college duties as the lockdown had been extended.
Raghu Akmanchi, president of the sangha said, “We are already working from home conducting online classes for our students. But our presence will be of no use unless students are allowed to come to college.”
Taking exception to the move, former Primary and Secondary Education Minister Basavaraj Horatti has urged Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan, who also holds the Higher Education portfolio, to intervene and sort out the issue. Mr. Horatti has written a detailed letter elaborating the various practical problems including inter-district and inter-State travel, different academic calendars, health risks, and related issues.
VTU resumes work
Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), has commenced work with 33% of the staff being asked to come to work on a rotation basis at all VTU Regional Centers and government engineering colleges across the State.