Raviprasad Kamila

Language teachers of degree colleges of Mangalore University have opposed the State Higher Education Department’s proposal to introduce common language textbooks for different undergraduate courses.

They said that if the government went ahead with its proposal, about 60 per cent of language teachers in 195 degree colleges under the university would lose their job. In addition, it would be unscientific to teach a common language textbook to students pursuing different courses such as B.Sc., B.Com., B.A., B.B.M. and B.C.A. as learning abilities of students of different courses differed and the contents taught to them also differed.

According to the government’s proposal there would be, for example, a common Kannada, English, Hindi or Sanskrit textbook for all undergraduate courses.

The issue cropped up after the then Commissioner of Department of Collegiate Education N.S. Channappa Gowda wrote to the Principal Secretary of Higher Education saying that there was a need to have common textbooks for language subjects and common lecture hours for various courses as “there is no uniformity among the universities in fixing the
teaching hours for a particular subject…”

The four-page letter written on February 22, 2013 — a copy of which is with The Hindu — said that except Mysore and Kuvempu universities other universities have prescribed different language textbooks for each course separately resulting in enormous increase in terms of teaching hours.

10,500 GUEST TEACHERS

A source in the Department of Higher Education said the increase in teaching hours had forced the government to recruit more guest teachers. There are 10,500 guest teachers in degree colleges, the government wants to reduce their number to reduce its financial burden.

The source said that now the government paid between Rs. 8,000 and Rs. 10,000 per month per guest teacher depending on the qualification. A guest teacher, who has cleared the national level eligibility test or has Ph.D., could take home Rs. 20,000 if they he or she taught in two colleges. As a follow up to the Commissioner’s letter, the Principal Secretary, Higher Education, wrote to the universities on April 29, 2013, asking them to send their “opinions within a week” to the government on common language textbooks.

Hayavadana Upadhya, convener, Forum of Language Teachers’ Associations of Mangalore University, said that if the government implemented the proposal, many language teachers in private colleges and government-aided private colleges would lose their jobs. “The forum has asked the chairpersons and members of the Boards of Studies of various language
subjects in the university to oppose the government’s decision,” he said.

Mahalinga, an Associate Professor in Kannada and a columnist, said different language textbooks had been structured in such a way that a science student should be able to write and communicate science subjects meaningfully, and a commerce student financial matters easily.

Courtesy: The Hindu, May 28, 2013

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