Pune 2 March 2022: Dr. S. P. Lawande spoke to teachers from various colleges, at the felicitation programme organised by SPPUCTO, Pune and Arts, Commerce and Science College, Indapur for him being elected unopposed as president of MFUCTO. Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers Organisation (MFUCTO), is an association of teachers which basically works in the state of Maharashtra for strengthening all the stakeholders of education system. The felicitation programme was attended by teachers from various colleges affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Holkar University, Solapur and Shivaji University Kolhapur. Prof. Dr. K. L. Giramkar and Dr. Hanumant Autade were also felicitated for getting elected as Vice President and Deputy Secretary of MFUCTO respectively. The function was attended by Dr. Netaji Kokate (President, SUTA Solapur), Dr. R. K. Chavan (President, SUTA Shivaji Univesity), Dr. Tate-Deshmukh (Secretary, SPPUCTO, Pune), Dr. Shivaji Bhosale (Vice President SPPUCTO) and Dr Somnath Wagnmare (Member SPPUCTO)
Dr. S. P. Lawande talked about the contribution of MFUCTO in strengthening the teachers and vast educational ecosystem. He also stressed on the importance of organization in creating an atmosphere of hope and justice among various categories of teaching professionals. He further added that this is the only organization which is being led only by teachers and there is no involvement of politicians at any level of its functioning.
He spoke on overcoming the new challenges in education system arising due to new policies being framed and are creating existential threat for many educational institutes in rural and urban areas of Maharashtra. He said, although the New Education Policy (NEP-2020) seems to be well drafted but it is far away from the ground realities and will finally lead to collapse of many institutes in Maharashtra. He continued, “Through this new policy, the government plans to wash its hand off from the constitutional right of education to everyone and hand over the education to the capitalist, profiteers and the private players. Adding to his comments, he also said, “the common students who are somehow still managing and are a part of the current system will be pushed out, and educators will also lose their jobs in large numbers.” He also said, although NEP focuses on universalization of quality education, skill development, urban planning and design and internationalisation but there is huge gap in institutes and will require large allocation of budgets by respective governments for its effective implementation.
He also raised the issue of appointments of teachers on Clock Hour Basis (CHB) in HEIs. Although it was a provision made to temporarily fulfil the requirements of teachers at Universities and Colleges, but now it has become the new normal and several teachers are exposed to harassment even after being well qualified. He said, just increasing the payment will not cater the need of teachers. It’s important to adhere to the rules and regulation of UGC of granting the status of Assistant Professor for qualified teachers.
He further added that the COVID-19 has resulted in colleges shut all across Maharashtra and several students are out of the classroom since last two years. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. However, recent policies like digital university and blended education are framed to promote online education and reduce the traditional way of learning. Adding to this, he said in any teaching process basically learning is important and looking at the recent surveys and experiences of several teachers in online education, no effective learning takes place. The students are getting marks but it has deteriorated the quality of learning to large extent. Therefore such moves will hamper the vast education system and seems to be promoted by companies who have recently ventured into large businesses to take advantage of pandemic situation.
Dr. S P Lawande also stressed on the worsening situation of teachers from non-grant and unaided colleges. He said the teachers are not paid to their capacities and are made to work under pressure. There is no stability of job and is leading to catastrophic situation for teachers working in these institutes. He expressed his agony that most of the colleges are just involved in making money and the purpose of disseminating the knowledge to the poor and needy is beaten.
At the end he expressed his belief that in order to enhance the quality of education and improve the system, all the stakeholders especially teachers must work together for the benefit of society.