Study centre, a boon to underpaid college teachers

Enlists their services through an experimental scheme

R. Krishnamoorthy

TIRUCHI: An experimental scheme executed by Tamil Nadu Open University, Tiruchi Study Centre, to support well-qualified, yet poorly paid, teachers of self-financing colleges and guest lecturers of government/government aided colleges by enlisting their services for week-end counselling sessions, has earned wide appreciation in academic circles.

About 150 teachers in this category, who had been pushed into a situation of `hand-to-mouth' existence, caused by the measly pay offered by their institutions, had their misery mitigated considerably by the scheme of the Study Centre, which availed their services in lieu of a hourly remuneration of Rs.125 for post-graduate (PG) courses and Rs.100 for under graduate (UG) courses.

Each college teacher, required to handle two two-hour sessions, each comprising two hours, was given Rs.50 a day towards conveyance.

These teachers had responded to a readiness expressed by the Coordinator of the Tamil Nadu Open University Tiruchi Study Centre, Raja Mutthirulandi, through these columns to draw their expertise as resource persons for the five weekend programmes, between April 14 and June 5, at the Centre located on the premises of the Periyar EVR. Government Arts and Science College.

TIRUCHI: There were over 900 students, enrolled in the academic year as well as the calendar year, attending the classes for nine PG courses, nine UG courses, eight certificate and diploma courses and the MBA programme.

Students admitted in the academic and calendar years were seated separately and on an average a teacher had a minimum of four sessions a day.

TIRUCHI: The resource persons, many of who were with qualifications of M.Phil and doctorate, handled the classes to the fulfilment of students.

Since they were relatively up-to-date with latest developments in the subject, the satisfied authorities assured their participation in future personal contact programmes.

The Centre has received Rs.2 lakhs from the university towards payment for teachers handling the sessions.

TIRUCHI: Each teacher earned between Rs.6,000 and Rs.7,000 in the just-concluded counselling programme.

A sum of Rs.1 lakh has already been disbursed so far, and the cheques for the rest of the amount will be despatched shortly.

TIRUCHI: The Tamil Nadu Open University has scheduled four such personal contact programmes a year, to the delight of these teachers.

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