Mokokchung, 19 May (MTNews): After Ongpangkong Kaketshir Mungdang (OKM) and Mokokchung College of Teacher Education Students’ Union (MCTESU), the Fazl Ali College Students’ Union (FACSU) today has in a letter to the Commissioner & Secretary, Higher Education Department appealed to retain the Assistant Professors at Fazl Ali College, Mokokchung. This appeal comes following the 9 May order regarding the attachment of teachers to New Model Colleges in Mangkolemba and Wakching.
“At a time when the college is already understaffed, we are immensely disheartened by the order,” the student body said and highlighted the following urgent concerns:
1. Disruption in the Learning Process by Sudden Displacement of Teachers: Any displacement of teachers, irrespective of duration, is a serious impediment to the learning process of the students. Sending away five teachers for a duration of six (6) months, which is an entire semester in an academic session, will have irreparable repercussions. We therefore dissent the order and would like to protest strongly against the transfer of our teachers haphazardly and hastily without any consideration of how it will affect the students.
2. Introduction of the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUGP) under New Education Policy (NEP) from the new academic session, 2023: The implementation of FYUGP under NEP, concurrent with the Old Nagaland University Syllabus (2012) and the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) since 2022, will put additional strain on the college’s departments that already have a lot on their workload. According to the University’s Order No. NU/NEP/2022-02, dated March 24, 2023, the FYUGP NEP “needs to be implemented from the coming academic session of 2023.” The English syllabus which previously had 15 papers will have no less than 27 papers to teach in all the semesters. In a similar way, the Botany syllabus, which had 24 papers previously, will now have 51 papers—practicals included. At this point, we would require additional staff in all departments immediately. Thus, the situation is further hampered by Government Order No. HTE/HE/ESST/8-67/2023. We are disturbed by the recent development because it will undoubtedly hinder the well-being of the students. The Students’ Union has recognized the need for more teaching faculty in various departments and the need for structural support to assist colleges in transitioning smoothly into the NEP era.
3. NAAC “A” Accreditation: The Fazl Ali College was awarded the “A” Grade in 2022 by NAAC and remains the only Government College in Nagaland with this grade. Therefore it has the potential to upgrade to Post-Graduate Courses and gain Autonomous Status as mentioned in NEP 2020. This requires the work force to strengthen in number and quality rather than decreasing the number of teachers which is the case with the recent Government Order. The order works against the progress of the college and hampers FAC from achieving its full potential. As students and citizens too, we have aspirations for our institutions to progress for the common good.
4. Setup and Progression of Newly Established Colleges without Harming Existing Colleges: While the establishment of new colleges is a positive effort on the part of the Government, we strongly state that it has to be done with proper planning and resources. The infrastructural requirements of a college are much more than the setup of rooms and the building. A good educational institution should have enough teachers per course and that should be done through proper recruitment without hampering existing college faculty. The current arrangement of taking away teachers from current colleges through attachment is detrimental for the parent college as well as the new colleges. Moreover, the Assistant Professors sent on attachment will be required to solely handle entire departments. The drastic increase in workload will affect the performance of the teachers, which in turn will have a negative impact on the students’ learning process. Thus, the students remain the ultimate victims. It would be in the best interest of the students of all the colleges, including the new colleges, and the community in general if new colleges are established only after proper and adequate infrastructures are in place.
Stating that Fazl Ali College is one of the biggest in Nagaland when it comes to student intake, and with enrolment increasing every academic session, the students’ union viewed that the way forward should be “to recruit more teachers to strengthen the college rather than abruptly take away the few that the college has.” Therefore, the student body calling the order ‘a huge loss to the students’ appealed to the authority to reconsider the order and revoke the same.
It may be noted that the Government of Nagaland in an order announced the attachment of 12 Assistant Professors from their current postings to New Model College, Mangkolemba and New Model College, Wakching, Mon where five of the twelve Assistant Professors were from FAC Mokokchung and two from Mokokchung College of Teacher Education (MCTE).