Thursday, May 6

West Bengal: Six-day week for college professors a seven-year-old proposal

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Despite opposition from a section of teachers, the state government is keen to implement a seven-year-old proposal for six-day work week scheme for college and university teachers, as applicable to remaining state employees. After raising the issue in 2018, education minister Partha Chatterjee harped on this again during a college principals’ conclave in Salt Lake on Thursday.

The state government indicated that earlier vice-chancellors had pointed to the huge leave provisions that have come in the way of introducing choice-based credit system (CBCS) in state institutions. Now, teachers in most colleges and departments at state universities stick to a five-day week routine, with no classes on Saturdays and Sundays. They also enjoy another unofficial day-off as preparatory leave that adds up to three day-offs a week.

It has been suggested to enforce the common statute for all state universities that will specify that teachers should report for duty six days a week. But universities may offer leaves to teachers to attend seminars, read papers at conferences, or go in for further studies. Another proposal is to keep colleges fully closed on Saturdays. This, sources said, will allow more teachers to attend college, university on weekdays.

The six-day week proposal has apparently not gone down well with teachers, who take it as an infringement on their flexibility to handle the workload. Many even refused to be treated on a par with other government employees. It has been argued that college and university teachers should have some independence to manage teaching and preparing for that. But those in the administration are not willing to agree.

“College and university teaching weekly load is less than that in schools. They can manage teaching and updating themselves without an extra off,” said a Bikash Bhavan source.


Source: Times of India

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