Monday, 26 September 2011

The Plight of Guest Lecturers in Dum Dum Motijheel College

The guest lecturer post is apparently termed as "illegal" by the government of West Bengal. Yet, almost all colleges recruit well educated individuals for this post for a paltry sum of money (on per class basis). The classes usually run from September to March (with two months holiday in the middle for festivals). Thus, they get paid only for 5-6 months. The rest of the year they are employed without pay. The thing is many Guest Lecturers do not know how they are being exploited as they come from a part of the society where any amount of income seems fine as they get to share the prestige of being a college faculty.
The workload I might add is same as that of a permanent faculty (Lecturer/Part-Time Lecturer/CWTT). But the pay scale of a Professor is Rs.15,600-39,000 (grade pay Rs.6600); Part-Time Teacher - Rs. 10000; CWTT - Rs.21000. But you would be shocked to know the pay scale of a guest lecturer - THERE IS NO PAY SCALE. They end up doing the work of the permanent teachers without any compensation. This kind of exploitation is going on everywhere in the state, but no one dares to speak up thinking that their future will be ruined.

Now the story, yes "story" I say as it is not a single bit less entertaining than a movie. The guest lecturers in Motijheel College ( were asked unofficially to not come to college by the Principal ( Dr. Dipak Kumar Chakraborty) by the end of July 2011. At being asked for the reason for such an absurd order the Guest Lecturers were told that an embargo has been placed by the " " (yes no one knows who) against the working of guest lecturers in this college (only this college). So they were told curtly that nothing can be done about it but wait.
A month passes by, in the mean while all other colleges are having their scheduled classes. The students start to get worried but the college has no concern about the students. By this time, the faculty and the principal have all got divided into the two main political groups (unofficially) in Bengal. They are not battling eyelid while they play with the future of the students as well as these highly educated guest lecturers who are too scared to speak up fearing for their future.
The game continues onto September where these Guest Lecturers are told that they will have to give an interview for the second time to get re-absorbed, all in the name of a "system". These Guest Lecturers are flabbergasted at such a demand but since they are powerless they go though with it. An advertisement comes out in the website that is only known to the guest lecturers as there was never any ad in major newspapers (they claim they had given the ad in The Telegraph). Anyway, when the guest lecturers show up for the "interview" they see there are many candidates. Obviously this entire ordeal has leaves them humiliated and that too to be interviewed with freshers for a post from which they were never officially let go, some of whom having 5 years experience of teaching in the college as Guest Lecturers.
The student union, consisting of a few students getting to know about this charged into the Principal's office and demanded an explanation but got none. Their main point was that their classes were suffering due to the absence of teachers and these teachers need to get their due instead of being humiliated like this.
Now the latest is that the students who are not actively involved in politics are being hoodwinked by the Principal and the permanent faculty and being told that these Guest Lecturers are not taking their classes by choice.
I have always voiced my opinion against injustice but this just the worst thing I have ever heard of. I could not believe when I heard it. I verified it from other sources. Would you let educated people who mold the future of your ward be treated thus? Would you not share this or do anything in your hand to raise awareness against such exploitation!