An expert committee has recommended wholesale changes to an order issued by the Higher Education department in 2020 that revised norms to determine workload for teaching posts in government and aided arts and science colleges.
The move to revise workload criteria for sanctioning posts had antagonised large sections of the teaching community. The workload of teachers in aided colleges had been increased from 9 hours to 16 hours a week. It prompted the government to constitute the panel comprising academics D.K. Satheesh, former Deputy Directorate of Collegiate Education, K.S. Jayachandran and K.P. Sukumaran Nair a few months ago to study the fallout of the order.
It has urged the government to reinstate the system of additional weightage to postgraduate (PG) classes. The practice of considering each teaching hour in PG classes as one-and-a-half hours while calculating the workload for staff fixation had been scrapped. The panel has found the move to have led to the cancellation of around 1,100 teaching posts in arts and science colleges.
The government order issued on April 1, 2020 had stated no regular teaching post would be allowed for a workload of less than 16 hours. The directive applied for single-faculty subjects such as Malayalam, Hindi, Politics and Sociology. Only guest lecturers could be permitted for subjects with workloads less than 16 hours, the directive stated.
Fearing that the provision could lead to the cancellation of over 1,500 posts in the State, the committee has recommended exempting single-faculty subjects from such norms. Permanent posts must be sanctioned for these subjects even if they had at least six hours’ workload. Besides, additional posts could be sanctioned for surplus workloads (beyond 16 hours) of nine hours.
It also called for revoking the decision to cancel existing posts having less than 16 hours of workload following retirement or after relieving the present teacher. The workload of associate professors and professors should be revised to 14 hours.