Srinagar: Teachers at University of Kashmir have expressed strong resentment against the varsity’s decision to hold two admission sessions this year without taking on board the department heads. The teachers fear this will entail an “academic mess” on campus due to lack of infrastructure.
The “whimsical” decision, the teachers said, had been taken only “at the top level”.
Registrar Kashmir University, Prof Nisar Ahmad, told Kashmir Reader that the “policy decision” to hold two admissions this year had been taken for “the benefit of the students”.
He said that the decision to hold April session of admissions this year was taken to adjust the “left out” candidates in last year’s entrance test conducted in September.
“The university is only for students. We will have to take on pressure to streamline the academic calendar,” the registrar said.
However, far from streamlining the calendar, the two admission sessions this year will rather “create an academic mess”, Prof Muheet A Butt, President of the Kashmir University Teachers’ Association (KUTA), the official body of the varsity teachers, said.
Prof Muheet cited the lack of adequate infrastructure at the varsity to cope with the burden of two admissions a year.
“At my own department, we have just two classrooms and both of them are occupied presently. Where shall we adjust the new students? What about the students who will be enrolled in September? What about laboratories?” he asked.
Against the recommended one admission session a year traditionally, Prof Butt wondered how the KU could hold half-yearly admission sessions.
He said the deferment till June in hiring contractual teachers at KU under the academic arrangement due to election Model Code of Conduct will only add to the teachers’ burden.
While the KU justifies this year’s April session of admissions, a senior professor at the varsity alleged that the half yearly admissions upset the merit of the students.
“They are conducting the April session of admissions to accommodate dropouts at the cost of meritorious students. The candidates dropped in the last entrance test will constitute toppers in the April session,” he said.
He further asked sarcastically, “Why not hold an entrance test twice every year to provide equal opportunity to all of them?”
Holding the April admission session, the professor said, “will affect thousands of students across campuses”.
“This is catastrophic for the university. How can you justify this? If they have made admissions last September, new admissions should be made in coming September only. They are doing another admission in between two admissions.”
While the evening shift of admissions by KU a few years ago was revoked later due to lack of infrastructure, senior professors at the KU warned that the April session of admissions will prove to be “more detrimental”.
“In the evening shift, we at least took separate classes, but here you have to conduct simultaneous classes for two batches in a year,” a senior professor pointed out.
The head of one of the departments at KU, pleading anonymity, said that the decision to hold the April session of admissions was “not in good taste”.
He confirmed to Kashmir Reader that the department heads were not consulted before taking the decision to hold the April session.
“It is going to be an uphill task. There is no required infrastructure. It should not be at the cost of quality education,” he added.
He also said that the April session of admissions will also affect the research work at the KU.
Another senior professor at KU told Kashmir Reader that the administration was “rushing through semester examinations” without any consideration for the stipulated time of 6 months a semester.
The professor equated the decision to hold the April admission session with the “appeasement by new officials” after the recent change of guard at KU.
“They don’t address issues at the grassroots level. There is nobody to question,” he added.
Another senior professor also said that the April session “will create an academic mess” at the varsity.
“Usually, you have 2 batches in a year, but we will be having 4 batches this year at the varsity,” he said.