Chandigarh, Sep 5 (IANS) Over 6,000 teachers working in universities and colleges across Punjab and Chandigarh proceeded on mass casual leave on Wednesday to protest against the “unjust policies and illogical attitude” of the central and state governments towards higher education.
Teachers who participated in a protest rally here on Teachers’ Day were from Panjab University, Chandigarh; Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar; Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana; Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana; Punjabi University, Patiala; and 60 government colleges of Punjab and 160 private colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh.
The call for the protest was given by Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations (PFUCTO).
Panjab University Teachers’ Association President Prof Rajesh Gill said that the teaching community was facing several issues in the present times.
PFUCTO General Secretary Jagwant Singh said that the central and state governments were causing irreparable harm to higher education.
“After denying interim relief to university and college teachers, the authorities are silent on the implementation of UGC pay-scales, appointment of regular teachers, and regularisation of 1,925 teachers in aided colleges of Punjab. They have also failed to implement a pension scheme for teachers,” Singh said.
Punjab Government Colleges Teachers’ Association President B.S. Tohra claimed that regular faculty in government colleges of Punjab had come down to 520 while over 1,200 posts were lying vacant.
“The education system is being managed through part-time and guest faculty who face exploitation at the hands of government, which is supposed to be a model employer,” Tohra alleged.
PAU Teachers’ Association President Rakesh Sharda said that reduced funding for agricultural research had impacted PAU contribution to the field.
He condemned payment of consolidated salary of Rs 15,600 only to Assistant Professors during probation and demanded equal pay for equal work for teachers.