AIFUCTO opposes online teaching, DA/DR freeze

CHRONICLE BUREAU
IMPHAL, 30th Apr: While deploring freezing of DA and DR of central government employees and pensioners, All India Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisation (AIFUCTO) has opposed the government proposal for online teaching and conduct of examination.
In a statement, All Manipur College Teachers’ Association (AMCTA) conveyed that AIFUCTO secretariat and office bearers held a video conference on Wednesday during which the members decided to express their opposition and resentment against freezing of DA and DR of Central Government employees and pensioners. The conference further decided to record its objection to online teaching and examination suggested by the Ministry concerned and consequent suggestions by the experts committee of UGC to deal with the abnormal academic situation created by COVID-19.
According to AIFUCTO, the Central Government taking advantage of emotional environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has taken an arbitrary and undemocratic decision to freeze the DA and DR to Central Government employees and pensioners with effect from January 2020 to July 2021. Many state governments including Telangana and Tamil Nadu taking clue from the centre have also taken similar decision. The Central Government employees, pensioners as well as the teachers have been in the forefront of fighting against Coronavirus and have donated generously to the CM and PM relief fund.
DA is paid to the employees only to compensate the rising cost of living and is not a matter of charity. Central Government should have explored the possibility of raising resources from corporate, industry and big business. Unfortunately no stakeholder has been consulted on the issue while the government is trying to shift all the burdens of its economic mismanagement to the employees and working class, AIFUCTO claimed.
On the other hand, in pursuance to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ guidelines and consequent submission of report by an expert committee formed by UGC, it is proposed to have online examination and teaching in respond to the crisis of Coronavirus. But AIFUCTO is of the firm view that online teaching and examination during a pandemic is discriminatory. In a country like India where students from all social and economic backgrounds are impacted by the pan-epidemic, not everyone would have access to internet.
Marginalised, physically challenged and visually impaired students will be adversely affected by the UGC decision. Extraordinary circumstances demand extraordinary measures and any such measures should be in accordance with the values and provision of constitution of India and provide a level playing field for all. Alternately, the universities and colleges should be allowed to finish their pending courses within 15 days of reopening of the institution, finish the internal examination and go for normal semester examination. AIFUCTO is strongly of the opinion that online examination and teaching only will serve the interests of corporate and not that of the mass students.
After the meeting of secretariat and office bearers, AIFUCTO general secretary Prof Arun Kumar said that all affiliates of AIFUCTO across the country will launch email mass campaign to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Prime Minister Narendra Modi against DA & DR freezing and decided to express protest by sending thousands of mails to MHRD & UGC against online system of teaching and examination to meet the Covid-19.
AIFUCTO decided to urge upon the central Government to reconsider its undemocratic decision to freeze the DA and DR to Central Government employees and pensioners.
Further it has requested the UGC to refrain from any decisions of going for on line examination and teaching to meet the present academic dislocation, conveyed AMCTA.


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