Faculty shortage dogs Pettigrew College
R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL, 18th Sep: Regarded as the second oldest government college in Manipur, William Pettigrew College in Ukhrul district has been in the news lately but for all the wrong reasons.
This has a lot to do with the prevailing problems of faculty and facility shortages within the institute that have existed as long as the district’s lone government-run college itself, and needed no introduction.
The William Pettigrew College was taken over by the State Government in 1972 after it was established in 1965. On August 27, the acute shortage of teaching faculties in the college ignited a debate in the recently concluded 8th monsoon session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly Session.
Interestingly, a few days later, it came to light that the government had issued an order dated August 22, 2019, calling for utilisation of three assistant professors namely, Md Indraman Khan, N Sunindro Singh and Ramyai Rungsung for the subjects of Mathematics, Geography and Sociology respectively at the college. Within a span of some three weeks or so, the state government issued a couple of fresh orders on transfer and posting of assistant professors concerning some of the state's colleges including Pettigrew College.
“On September 13, the government issued an order that another three assistant professors namely, Kh Kumar Singh (Geography), M Shantikumar (Sociology) and Dr N Jukeshwor Singh (Mathematics) are to be posted on utilisation basis at Pettigrew College with immediate effect”, an official source told The People's Chronicle on Tuesday. The source further disclosed that another order issued on the same day had taken away three assistant professors namely, RA Canaan, (History), Dr Ringmichon Shangjam (Political Science) and Dr S Amir Ayub (English) to be utilised at GP Women's College, DM College and Moirang College respectively.
“Accordingly, our three faculty members were immediately transferred out and as per utilisation norms, there is no replacement. But the harder thing is that the new Mathematics faculties have not reported so far, though Sociology and Geography teachers have done so”, it lamented.
Terming the problem of teacher shortage in the college as ‘chronic’, the source maintained that it was not a question of the current sanctioned posts being filled up or not. “Rather it is a question of lack of creation of sanctioned posts. The existing strength of sanctioned posts is set too low against the actual required number of teachers”, it said, adding that the problem is unlikely to end until all the required posts are duly created and filled up accordingly.
During the recent state assembly, Education minister Th Radheshyam had reportedly said that there was no shortage of teaching faculty in the college, while responding to a question raised by Ukhrul MLA Alfred Kanngam Arthur. The minister was further quoted as saying, “Only 198 students have been enrolled in the college in the current academic session and all 38 sanction posts have been filled up, along with another 11 guest lecturers being engaged”.
Altogether, 46 teachers including guest lecturers are currently stationed at the college, but there are no sanctioned positions for subjects like Sociology, Education, Geography, etc.
“The worst part is Science stream because we have only two Mathematics teachers as against the required four and three teachers each of Physics and Chemistry as against the requirement of five and four respectively”, the source continued.
Earlier on September 6, All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) conducted a physical inspection to oversee the problems in the college and urged the state authorities to fulfil posting orders for all teachers in the hill districts on discovering that the posting order of August 22 was yet to be fulfilled.