BHAWANIPATNA:Degree education has gone for a toss in Bhawanipatna Autonomous College which once held the reputation of being one of the best educational institutions in the district. Reason: There are not enough faculty members in the five-decade-old college that offers Plus Two, Plus Three and PG courses in History, Geography, Economics, English, Odia and Political Science besides MPhil in History and Odia. There is also a provision for PGDCA and professional courses under PPP mode.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced it College of Excellence for its multifarious activities and research works despite dearth of teaching personnel. However, the standard of education is going down each year as the vacant faculty positions are not filled up.
Against the sanctioned strength of 59 in Plus Three and PG courses, the present teacher strength is only 24 with 35 posts lying vacant. Of the 24 teachers in position, 11 have been appointed on an ad hoc basis. Worse, there are no faculty members in Mathematics Department with all the three teacher positions lying vacant. Similarly, six out of eight teacher posts are vacant in English Department and the Anthropology Department runs without a head.
In Botany Department, there is only one teaching staff against the sanctioned strength of three, in Chemistry it is one against five posts while Zoology has two against four. Geography classes are managed by just one against the need for four teachers, English has just two teachers against eight and in History, only two teachers are managing the show against five.
The silver lining is that the Plus Two college does not face the problem with two teaching posts remaining vacant out of 25. Ironically, the college does not have a regular principal though there is a provision for autonomous colleges to have a principal of professor rank.
To manage the classes, college authorities depend on guest lecturers. But that too has become difficult due to fund crunch. In-charge Principal of the college, Loknath Sahu said the college needs Rs 35 lakh for paying guest lecturers but Government has released Rs 21 lakh so far. As a result, the faculty members have not been paid remuneration since February.
In this scenario, classes are regularly suspended and courses not completed in most of the departments leaving the students and parents high and dry.
Sahu said the existing faculty members are unable to pitch in 180 days of teaching in an academic year, not only because of teacher crisis but also infrastructure shortage. Although the college runs several courses, it does not have sufficient number of classrooms. The Science block of the college is yet to be completed.
The Principal said the Government should immediately post regular teachers for smooth running of classes and look into renovation of the dilapidated college building and hostel buildings. He also sought urgent measures for eviction of the unauthorised occupants on two acres of the college campus.
NO REGULAR TEACHERS
■ Faculty crisis threatens students’ future in the five-decade-old Bhawanipatna Autonomous College
■ Against the sanctioned strength of 59 in Plus Three and PG courses, the present teacher strength is only 24 with 35 posts lying vacant
■ Of the 24 teachers in position, 11 have been appointed on an ad hoc basis