Srinagar: The degree colleges across Kashmir are facing a major crisis due to the lack of teaching faculty which has taken a heavy toll on the academics of the students.
This shortage of faculty has become a major concern, forcing the college authorities to come up with apparently “bizarre solutions” to address the problem.
Amid the shortage of the faculty, the authorities in Government Women's College, Baramulla have issued a circular where in the non-subject faculty have been assigned the duty of "engaging classes of the departments without staff".
As per the circular, the faculty of Education, Physical Education, and Sports Departments has been assigned the duty to engage the classes of Political Science Department.
Similarly, the faculty of Chemistry Department has been assigned the duty to engage classes of Public Administration Department while the faculty of Botany Department has been asked to engage classes of Economics and the faculty of Zoology department would engage the students of Social Work.
Also, the faculty of the Mathematics Department has been asked to engage the faculty of the Philosophy Department.
The arrangement to engage the students by non-subject specific teachers has left people surprised who said that such initiatives expose the standard of the higher education sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the College Principal, Maheen Mustafa justified the move saying that it was a "temporary arrangement" to engage the students.
"Actually we do not have permanent faculty for these subjects in the college and the Higher Education Department (HED) has not sent the academic arrangements to our college as well. So, we have come up with this circular in order to engage these students in different activities," she said. “The HED is likely to send the academic arrangements to the college which will resolve the problem.”
The college principal said, "We have not asked the faculty to take classes of these students but they have been instructed to engage the students in different activities to maintain the discipline in the college."
An official said the college had enrolled over 200 students of Political Science in one semester alone but there was no faculty to take the classes, leaving the college in crisis.
"Same is the case with other subjects like Public Administration and Economics. But we are hopeful that the HED will expedite the process of deputing academic arrangements to the colleges to overcome the problem," he said.
Nodal Principal Kashmir Division Colleges, Prof Khurshid Ahmad Khan, who is also the Principal of SP College told Greater Kashmir that the process for deputing academic arrangements to the colleges was in its final stage.
"It will take a few days to depute the academic arrangements to the colleges to overcome the dearth of staff," he said.