Politicians should not own schools/ colleges

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Politicians should not own schools/ colleges

Looking at the news that a politician who own and manage an engineering college in the name of a trust had demanded cut & share in the professors’ salary for celebrating his birthday. The principal of the college had given a circular to deduct half a day of the salary of the professors. The news was published yesterday in newspapers and circulating in social media. This pathetic treatment of teachers in this society had come out because of the illiterate and corrupted politicians owning colleges in the name of trusts.

Why Teachers should not govern colleges??

(Non inclusion of the Cooperative Societies Act by AICTE & similar bodies)

The regulatory bodies are corporate friendly. They facilitate the norms to operate private colleges/ schools by money barons, politicians but not by the cooperative society of teachers. Indian Trusts Act 1882 is an outdated act and as per the act: a trust can be formed with as minimum of two individuals. Such a trust is allowed to start and operate colleges. But the whole of the professors of a college, under the provisions of the Cooperative Societies Act of 1912 cannot govern the colleges. The MHRD, UGC, AICTE, DoTEs, state and central universities do not allow institutions under their purview to be operated by the teachers. Instead their provisions are limited to societies, trusts and companies governing the colleges.

Who own colleges? Political families or Teachers’ Union?

Almost 90% colleges are run by families of politicians directly or indirectly in the name of charitable trusts or education societies. The so called ‘Self financing’ institutions are legally expected to self finance their education services. But what happens in reality is: showing bogus accounts balance sheets, and looting the money from students’ fee, government funds and staffs salary.

Harassments faced by Teachers in Schools/ Colleges:

The professors/ teachers face various harassments in the hands of these college-owning politicians. The harassments include and not limited to:

Nonpayment of salary as per state/ central norms -- Nonpayment of salaries for many continuous months/ years -- Nonpayment of PF’s employer contribution -- Nonpayment of Gratuity -- No maternal leave. Removing pregnant ladies from job -- Nonpayment for notice period when the trust of college terminates teachers/ staff -- Heavy ransom demand as notice period money, in case the teacher/ staff resigns -- Holding all the degree certificates of teachers -- Unlimited workloads -- Showing fake individuals as teachers on the particular day of inspection and therefore not possessing exact student staff ratio -- Forcing the staff to canvass and to bring students for admissions – cutting the holidays, forcing to work in national/ state holidays -- Sudden and reckless terminations of teachers.

Bank frauds are also done by politician-owned colleges. Teachers receive sms as salary credited. But when they go to ATM/ counter there is no money in their account -- Deducting loss of pay and non sanction of on-duty for university activities such as examination invigilations, paper corrections, laboratory examiner duties -- Repeatedly evaluating the teachers and burdening them with accreditation work, cultural work and extra classes -- Blaming that, the teachers as the one and only reasons for poor results and unemployment of graduates -- Assault, manhandling, threat and intimidation of staff -- Demanding teachers to take attendances for students in buses, and to be an unpaid warden for hostels -- Name calling of staff -- Misusing security guards for intimidating teachers -- Misuse of physical education staff as henchmen -- Some trustees or principals are harassing women staff by various means -- Most importantly the colleges owned by politicians pay a big amount of formal salary through bank, but later grab the 50% of the amount from the professors ‘by-hand’. This terminology colloquially called ‘cash-back’ is particularly prevalent in politicians owned colleges.

Students’ rights violated:

Right to education includes education under a nominal and reasonable fee. But in reality, students face lot of hardships in the institutes governed by Politicians. The politically affiliated trustees demand unbilled fee from students. Such colleges receive the complete government funds and spend only a trifling amount in running cost of laboratories, hostels, computer softwares, building, library, electrical and furniture maintenances. A huge amount is collected as fine from students. These fine amounts are collected every semester and mostly teachers are made to collect and pay to the managements and in turn the managements pay the teachers from this fine amount itself. Colleges collect unbilled fee in the names of freshers day, graduation day, caution deposit, seminar and even industrial visits/ tours. Tour operators pay commission to the college trustees in the total money collected from students for few day compulsory visits/ tours.

Sub-standard life for students:

In the name of hostels students are confined inside dormitories. Dormitories are not the place where the natural learning instincts would propagate. Hostels are filled with leaking roofs, water shortages, frequent power cuts, pests and rodents presence. In such goonda colleges, the food served remains substandard. Stories of students cooking in the mess for themselves, unavailability of groceries, three meals of only idlies for a week and others are becoming common. Poor sanitary and water shortages leave the hostel students cut the first hour classes and news about students striking in the hostel are increasing. Not to tell about libraries. They are only for display.

Trustees assaulting students:

Everyone knows that, in colleges professors never touch any student. On the contrary even in colleges and even in professional engineering colleges, politically supported trustees use their cabin like a police investigation room. Whenever called to that room students develop fear. Students are manhandled by trustees, their henchmen who will be in the attire of non-teaching/ teaching staff, physical education teachers and security guards.

Students face administrative vengeance:

Not allowing the ‘complaining students’ from appearing in semester exams, failing them in laboratories and holding their educational certificates, are routine malpractices in the colleges governed by trustees with politics as their background.

Hoarding Black Money:

These money earned by force from students and staff are directly pocketed as black money. The accounts balance sheets of trustees show that the teachers are paid by norms. But in reality the teachers are paid about one fourth of the norms or even less. If we could calculate and cumulate the total money earned by the all the trusts in these manners by the last 15 years, then that would account to a few lakhs crores.

Luxury Car Parades:

In most colleges there are restrictions to students not to bring their two wheelers inside the campus. But no single college or school has restriction for a trustee. About one in three trustees own imported luxury cars. These cars will be kept for display, washed and cleaned before the eyes of the staff and students. The trustee will show his illiterate pride by riding this car inside the campus. The illiterate trustees believe this is a mark of superiority and they believe in this way they can create inferiority and fear in the mind of professors and students. But the actual money for the cars came through cheating and looting the staff and students.

Remedy:

Allow Teachers/ Professors to own and govern private schools/ colleges. The managements are only involved in getting ransom money from students and distributing a meager amount to teachers. It is only the teaching and non-teaching staffs, who really operate and maintain the educational institutions. At least one third of the colleges in this nation should be governed by cooperative societies which is a much democratic and social manner of governance in education sector. When such institutions are run by teachers their motive will not be money but service at a nominal fee. The fee of students will reduce, facilities and quality of education will grow and these institutions will become the much preferred institutions among aspiring students. At this juncture when the MHRD had scrapped the plan to form HEERA and empower UGC, AICTE: issuing rights, provisions, subsidies, support and encouragement to institutions run by teachers alone will be the opt decision. And that decision will make India, the best nation for learning & education.

Politicians should be exempted from being a trustee in any educational institution. Being in a trust/ society of an educational institution should be considered as holding an office of profit and hence the person should be disqualified to contest elections.

Yours truly,

K.M.Karthik

Founder

All India Private Colleges Employees Union (AIPCEU)

-- An union in making with a present strength of 10,000 professors—

www.aipceu.in



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