Published: 17th March 2020
PU 2 lecturers protest: Call for hunger strike from March 28, Minister releases video appeal
In a video posted on social media on Monday morning, Suresh Kumar S, Primary and Secondary Education Minister, requested lecturers to drop their plans to protest and ensured to fulfill demands
On Sunday, the representatives from the Karnataka Pre-University Lecturers Association (KPULA), Bengaluru and Karnataka State PU College Principals' Association in their letter to the government stated that they will boycott the evaluation of examinations from March 28 and begin their protest. They stated that the government was not responding to their demands and they were upset with their attitude. SR Venkatesh, Vice President, Karnataka Pre-University Lecturers Association (KPULA), said, "We will boycott evaluation of PU 2 exam papers and go on indefinite hunger strike from March 28 at Freedom Park. Earlier, we placed our demands and were promised that they will be fulfilled but now, none of the government officials seem to respond."
Their demands included rectifying the pay scale of lecturers across all the colleges including government and aided, promotion for the lecturers who have served in the department for 10 years or more than that, forming a committee to solve the issues of workload among PU lecturers. Since Science is a practical subject, the total work hours for these lecturers are fixed for 16 hours per week. For non-practical subjects like Maths, the number of hours per week is around 20 hours which is unscientific, they say. Another demand is the appointment of principals in 600 colleges where the posts are vacant. There should be limited strength in the class. According to the rules of NCERT, every class should have a maximum of 40 students but in most of the classes, there are more than 40 students which leads to a heavier workload for lecturers.
As a result of continuous protests and worry that the lecturers might boycott the evaluation process had forced Suresh Kumar S to make a few promises on his Facebook account.
The minister had made the following promises:
The government ensures an increase in the evaluation fee for PU lecturers
The government has given a green signal for the appointment of a college principal through the process of counselling. Around 250 principals will be appointed in different government colleges
A clear notice given for administrative actions not to allow for a delay in salary/delay of annual/periodic interest payments
A sympathetic stance on workload is also determined by the rules
The issue of NPS pension is not only our decision and I have been discussing with concerned department officials to find a solution to this issue
Another request through video
On Monday, the Primary and Secondary Education Minister released a video on social media in which he said, "The PU 2 exams began on March 4 and in a total of 10 days, 28 subject exams are already completed. Another seven days are remaining with 14 more subject exams to finish. I believe that all the students have written their exams well and I have personally been to different exam centres to see the students performing well. Until now, the Department Of Pre-University Education has seen that there are no chances of paper leakage or any such incidents across the state. Of course, the incident that happened in Vijayapura and another incident in Jayanagara have taken place. I want to wish you all the best for the rest of your exams. Meanwhile, you people might have heard of lecturers stating that they will boycott the evaluation of exam paper. You don't have to worry about this. I have been in touch with the lecturers trying to talk about their demands and fulfill them also. I also request the lecturers to drop their of protest as students have worked hard for many months to write their exams. Let us not leave them to suffer between the government's policies and your demands. I will try and ensure to fulfill most of your demands at the ministerial level."