Lack of job security making life tough for DU ad hoc teachers
NEW DELHI: No medical leaves, no earned leaves and no maternity leaves for female teachers, and only one sanctioned leave per month.
This is how 40 per cent of ad hoc teachers at Delhi University teach, some of the best minds in the city, are treated by the University.
Out of 10,000 teachers at various DU colleges and departments, nearly 4,500 are serving ad hoc.
Several teachers at the varsity working on an ad hoc or makeshift basis for over a decade — with almost no job security — have termed the arrangement "unfair and exploitative".
"Services of ad hoc teachers can be terminated without notice and most teachers we spoke to did not want to be identified, as they feared they would be removed from their jobs," said a lecturer.
Over the last few years, the problem of ad hocism in DU has ballooned.
"In 2005, there were only 500 teachers appointed on ad hoc basis. But it has multiplied with time. Only 700 permanent appointments have been made after 2010," noted a professor.
"If you pick up the timetable of any college, you will realise that the burden of taking classes falls more on ad hocs than on permanent ones. All of these things affect the quality of teaching and, as a result, my students get shortchanged," another teacher rued.
It is not just the quality of a teacher's work that suffers.
While the post of an ad hoc teacher pays less than that of a permanent teacher, it is the absence of job security that makes them feel vulnerable.
"With a salary of around Rs 65,000 after working for four years, I live a fairly comfortable life. But I never know when I will be without a job. It could be at the end of this term or after 10 years. As a result, any plans for the future are shelved till I know what will happen to me two years down the line," said a teacher, who wished to remain anonymous.
"After working as an ad hoc teacher for a few years, there is not much that you can do. You have already spent your most productive years stuck in this system. Many ad hoc teachers in Delhi University have been teaching for over 10 years and are usually between the ages of 30 and 40. How are we supposed to find a new profession at the age of 40," the teacher added.