TU part-timers threaten to boycott classes
KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 8
Thousands of part-time teachers hired by Tribhuvan University — the country’s largest varsity — have once again threatened to boycott classes if their demand for payment equal to the remuneration of the university’s assistant professors is not met.
More than 2,200 part-time teachers who are hired as assistant professors on contract basis are paid less than Rs 300 per class, approximately Rs 10,000 a month. Permanent teachers of the same rank, who are selected through open competition are paid more than Rs 40,000 a month on average.
The agitating part-timers’ aggression was also fuelled after the university refused to pay them during the monthslong lockdown, saying classes were not held during the period.
TU Part-time Teachers Association, put forth forwarding various protest programmes and demanded that the varsity announce new vacancies every six months as per the university’s regulation.
The last time TU had announced vacancies for the post of assistant professor was around five years ago. Lack of vacancies has hindered aspiring teachers who take up part-time job in the hope that their chances of attaining permanence in TU will be enhanced.
Sashi Kumar Sharma, coordinator of the protest programme said that they take classes almost double the number of classes that permanent teachers of similar rank take, but their salary is less than half of what the permanent teachers get.
“We demand equal salary for equal job-load,” Sharma said, adding, “We have spent all our youth hoping that one day we will be able to join the university as permanent teachers. But, now that the university is not calling new vacancies, we at least demand equal payment.”
Part-time teachers’ have been staging various protest programmes such as hunger strike and padlocking the offices of university authorities for years.
The government had on August 17 drafted new directives increasing the allowance from Rs 300 to Rs 500 per class. This has not been implemented yet, according to TU-PTA.
Part-time teachers, however, have been refusing the increased allowance saying the raise was so less that it only increased their humiliation.
The directive has also allowed retired teachers of the university to be reselected as part-time teacher. The TU-PTA is also demanding that this particular regulation be scrapped.