Saturday, September 23, 2000

TU decree stirs job panic among teachers

By Razen Manandhar

KATHMANDU, Sept 22 - The "stern" decision of Tribhuvan University (TU) to prevent teachers from working outside has created havoc among over 3,000 teachers working in the government supported oldest university of Nepal.

Last week, TU Conference and Executive Council issued a circular to its campuses, calling all the teachers to take more classes and asked them to refrain from teaching or holding administrative posts in other institutions.

With the new decision, any teacher taking classes in other shifts than their regular work time in private colleges or schools need to get permission. All the teachers working outside are demanded to produce the proof of their resignation from other institutions. It is also mentioned that TU campuses will also be taken action, if they fail to inform the TU administration about the status of their teachers.

TU Rector Prof Dr Premraj Pant said the decision was the need of the time. He said, "Everybody knows, we made the decision to enforce law and to create a better academic environment."

A TU official requesting anonymity said that among 6,200 teachers, over 80 percent are involved in outside jobs. He said, "Those teaches earn money and goodwill from TU and at the same time, they sell the fame to promote private institutes. Many have their own campuses."

The TU salary was increased around 50 percent last July. TU officials stress that given the significant hike in the salary, the teachers should also be honest and loyal to their profession.

However, TU has so far no record of the number of teachers engaged in other full-time professions.

Assistant Professor Ghataraj Bhattarai, who has been teaching in Ratna Rajya Campus and also running Pashupati Campus, is one among the victims. He said the decision has affected over 3,000 teachers and created havoc among them. The owners of private campuses also had a two-day meeting last Sunday and Monday.

He said the decision lacks homework, and is only a result of revenge. "TU's present resource and capacity cannot control this situation. Even the government does not know what its staff do in the mornings and evenings."

Bhattarai easily said that he would go for the private campus if the need be. He said, "If teachers like me with 32 years of experience have to leave, it is certain that TU would be deserted by competent teachers and only learners will be there to teach."

Educationist Dr Ballav Mani Dahal said that the rules themselves are not bad. "But, TU should have strengthened its position before imposing such a decision. They should also be providing the teachers with certain time before implementing the decision."

"The decision makers should be ensured of their resources to make the teachers devote themselves for TU's development," he added.

Dr Mohan Himanshu Thapa, who taught in TU for 40 years, said the decision as such is not bad but would be a difficult task to implement.

On the other hand, the decision has also affected the administrative staff too. TU Employees' Association Chairman Bhola Prasad Dhakal claimed that the decision has cut facilities of the staff.

He added the new change has neglected the administrative staff. "We are discriminated against. We are not allowed to compete for parallel promotion as the teachers claim for."
[Kathmandu Saturday September 23, 2000 Aswin 07 2057.]