Friday, December 12, 2008

Students can’t play teacher: reverse appraisal in bin

Students will not have an opportunity to evaluate the performance of their teachers, despite a recommendation from a University Grants Commission pay panel that teachers’ promotions be linked to students’ assessments.

The Centre has deleted the recommendation from the final draft notification implementing massive salary hikes for over five lakh teachers across India, which is ready to be placed before the Union cabinet.

The move comes in an election year after the government received petitions almost every day from teachers’ unions saying students may “misuse” the right to evaluate their teachers.

The UGC pay review committee under G.K. Chadha, a member of the Prime Minister’s economic advisory committee, had recommended an average salary hike of 75 per cent for teachers and support staff at central universities and institutions funded by the UGC.

The hikes set the benchmark that state governments invariably follow.

The Chadha panel, however, stressed the need for more accountability of teachers.

Teaching attendance is skewed in different educational institutions and academic qualifications of teachers are even more varied.

Teachers from premier colleges have long questioned why they receive the same pay as teachers in other colleges who hardly ever take classes. They believe they innovate in class, making learning enjoyable or exciting, and argue that their assessment cannot be on a par with those who teach directly from standard textbooks.

Some individual colleges and institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology already have student assessment procedures. At the end of each term, every teacher hands out feedback forms to students. The students rate the teaching on various parameters — ranging from attendance and ability to communicate concepts to the extent of innovation to help students learn better. Students have the option of remaining anonymous on the forms.

The Chadha panel, in its recommendations, suggested that a similar mechanism be introduced uniformly across universities and colleges by the UGC.

The panel also said a peer review of teachers’ performances, coupled with students’ assessment, could be used as indicators by university or college panels to determine promotion possibilities.

Peer review alone would not do, the Chadha panel argued, as a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” phenomenon could see teachers striking an arrangement to help each other out.

But the human resource development ministry has removed the recommendation for student evaluation, a ministry official said. The draft notification also does not include peer reviews as indicators of performance to help decide promotions.

1 comment :

PREM said...

Congress has won the state elections 3-2. So now they are not in any hurry and the General elections are far away. Moreover from the recent results they know they can win the elections without the votes of university teachers.

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