Teachers protest against Mumbai University's paper checking deadline

Teachers staged a protest against Mumbai University's demand that they finish assessing all papers by July 20 despite glitches in the new online system

Teachers and students staged a two-hour protest at Mumbai University's Fort campus yesterday. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar
Teachers and students staged a two-hour protest at Mumbai University's Fort campus yesterday. Pic/Tanvi Phondekar

Even as Mumbai University (MU) struggles to meet the July 31 deadline given by the Governor to declare all examination results, a protest by teachers and students at the Fort campus gave a big jolt to the assessment process on Monday.

This year, the university introduced a new online assessment system, but several glitches have delayed the result declaration. Teachers are now protesting the varsity's move to issue threatening letters to them, demanding that they finish checking all papers by July 20. The notice was sent to all teachers, warning of action if they didn't turn up for assessment duty.

Madhu Paranjape, general secretary of the Bombay University and College Teachers Union (BUCTU), said, "Latest in the line are text messages demanding that each teacher should complete the assessment work by July 20. But what should the teachers do if the papers are not even uploaded completely in many cases?"

Turning a deaf ear
BUCTU organised the protest on Monday afternoon and found support from students who are also frustrated due to the delay in results. BUCTU is demanding immediate withdrawal of the notice issued to teachers, threatening action against the teachers if they do not assess 30 papers or more per day. Although the demonstration went on for almost two hours, nobody from the administration met the protestors.

BUCTU has now sent a memorandum to the Governor, requesting a meeting. "We are getting daily reports of what issues the professors are facing with the new system, which was implemented so hurriedly. But these reports are not getting delivered to the Governor," said Paranjape.

She added, "We have been writing to the Vice-Chancellor on several issues resulting from hurried decisions. But we are never given any time. Governor must call us to meet and understand the issues."

Mumbai University says
Dr M A Khan, registrar of Mumbai University, said, "BUCTU should support us at this juncture, so that results can be declared - this is of foremost importance right now. We understand that there are some difficulties and those are being resolved at each step by experts. All their suggestions will be considered in the next process of on-screen assessment."

Unqualified teachers?
"We have come to know that the varsity is including Masters students and other unqualified teachers in the evaluation process; this will only hamper the work," said a BUCTU member. Refuting these allegations, MU Registrar Dr M A Khan said, "All the teachers are qualified to perform assessment.

30
No. of papers MU has demanded each teacher check per day

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