Published: 26th July 2021
Welcome to Reason: Should age be a factor in picking principals?
Government college lecturers allege that the age limit makes it hard for them to be appointed as principals. Is the restriction fair, or is it an abstract rule that robs the deserving of the position
Music conductors have to take forward their choirs on blended discipline to deliver a harmonious melody. But college and school principals have to run their institutions smoothly taking along lecturers/teachers and students. They often evoke images of discipline rather than scholarship. Their selection, appointment and functioning are often mired in politics and controversy as reflected in the following report titled “Eligibility Criteria for Principal Post Unfair” published in The New Indian Express (July 3, 2021) and excerpted here.
Government college lecturers are feeling left out in the process of appointments of principals for government colleges. The process sets an age limit of 55 years and also allows private college lecturers to apply for the post.
The Karnataka Government College Teachers Association (KGCTA) has asked the government to relax the age limit on the premise that the University Grants Commission too has no such restrictions.
President of the association, BM Manjunath, told TNIE that government college lecturers feel let down as more than 90 per cent of them have crossed the age of 55 and not a single post of principal has been filled in the past 13 years.
Going beyond this report, certain aspects of appointing principals need to be debated. Should the post be reserved for those who are below 55 years? Even in those remaining years (beyond 55) of service, one can do wonders as a principal. Again, what is wrong in throwing the post open to teachers in the non-government school sector? It might bring a breath of fresh air to the jaded bureaucracy-bound government schools.