This was the question that I have been asking myself when I was working as a guest lecturer in a college and in my experience and observation, the way the guest lecturers are being treated is not fair at all. Self respect and personal integrity of a guest lecturer are always at stake and challenged. The life of guest lecturer is torn asunder and it is crippled by injustice, inhuman treatment and unjust wage.
In terms of education qualifications and exposure guest lecturers are way ahead than the so called permanent ones who are in their late 40s and early 50s. Why then such a bad treatment to guest lecturers? It is a story of haves and have-nots.
Many a time a guest lecturer is well qualified than a permanent lecturer. How many of the permanent lecturers can meet up the current requirements to get the UGC scale pay? As far as the educational qualification and contemporary standards are concerned how many of the permanent lecturers can meet up the requirements, they all have become permanent based on their three to four decade old education qualifications.
How many of the professors who are in their late 40s and early 50s can pass the NET exam and make themselves competent for the industrial standards? In terms of qualification, if the so called guest lecturers claim for the post that the permanent ones adorn, they have to vacate the posts for guest lecturers.
As education has become a big time money-making business, the post of guest lecturer is always a cheap labor that a college can avail, cheap labor but professionally well qualified personnel. Many colleges think that people work as guest lecturers since they can not find any other job so whatever the circumstance is in the college, they would stick to the job.
The college management has the impression that how much ever the guest lecturers are badly treated they would stick to the job because they don’t have any other way out. The life of guest lecturers is always under the fear of getting terminated so they patiently tolerate everything. Thus, the fear of getting terminated makes them so obedient to the management.
When the number of hours and the performance level of guest lecturers are compared with that of the permanent lecturers, guest lecturers never fall behind instead they always surpass the permanent ones. Why then the guest lecturers are treated like slaves? Is it because the college pays the guest lecturers so they should be maximum made use of, whereas the UGC pays the permanent ones so college does not have any right to dictate terms to permanent ones?
Many a time permanent lecturers remain inactive and idle because whether they perform or not they get their specific salary, so their attitude is that why should they take extra pain to make the teaching more effective and interactive? On the other hand it is the guest lecturers who are always active and coming up with new ventures and initiatives. They always take extra pains to make the teaching effective though it is for their survival. Many a time the permanent lecturers don’t allow the guest lecturers to come up and their ventures and initiatives are nipped in the bud.
Most of the colleges run self-financed courses to make maximum profit. From the self-financed-stream-students the college (management) collects huge amounts as donation and fees and they don’t use the fees collected for the particular stream of students. Colleges run these kinds of self-financed courses mainly appointing a few guest lecturers that too offering them bare minimum salary and rest of the money goes into pocket of management. The only concern of the colleges is to see such courses running not whether the students get adequate return for the fee they have paid for the course.
Educated people will be always well-behaving and many a time people who are posted in the managerial positions are not well educated they are in authority because they are just part of the management, which runs such educational institutions. Such people don’t know the value of a degree and post graduation because they don’t have one. These managers really spoil the whole education sector.
So the guest lecturers are the ones on whom the management can show its authority and express their feelings of anger and hatred which the management can’t do unto the permanent ones. If the management does it unto the permanent ones it would definitely backfire because the permanent ones have their union and political supports.
As far as the guest lecturers’ treatment is concerned, no guest lecturer in any college is content the way he or she is treated and if the management and college fail to understand this fact and don’t start treating them in a better way in terms of salary, work load and basic human concern, the fury of their reaction would be so powerful that the college and the management would not be able to withstand.
At the end of the day education should produce better human beings with refined thoughts and characters, both who are getting educated and who give education. Teaching career shall not be a place where a few enjoy everything and others suffer a lot, a few are well treated and the others badly, a few are highly paid and others under paid.