On Teacher’s Day, an ad-hoc teacher wrote an open to letter to President Pranab Mukherjee depicting the deplorable of their community in the profession and how badly they are being treated.
The copy of the letter with Indian Express and the teacher’s identity is withheld.
The teacher asks the president whether he ever wondered who they are, what they think and how they became ‘adhocs’ though they had set out to become teachers.
“Sir, you do not know me. You can never know me or my name or the names of lakhs of us who are serving in your universities as ‘adhocs’. I was 25 years old when I rejected lucrative prospects in the new corporatising India,” he wrote.
He said that at first, he and his friends thought it was some kind of temporary malady that the universities had started liking only and only adhocs rather than regular faculty members.
“I thought it was happening only to me and my friends. Now, two decades have passed and it’s still there,” he said.
Depicting an ad-hoc experience, the teacher wrote universities don’t address them with their names; instead recognise them as numbers.
“They think about us only in the months of April-June because they need to be filled by real people for the “task” of teaching. We get subjected to a humiliating repetitive ritual of filling the forms to convey our availability to become adhocs. The muggy month of July becomes preeminently disgracing, every year, when we face an interview and answer the golden question: ‘What new will you do this year?,” he wrote.
Due to all this, the excited teacher in him has died and he will teach with newer levels of a mortified mind.
“The university gives our minimum-wage salaries of 4-5 months together, saving a lot of the monthly work to be put in by clerks. It is our problem to cope with our ad hocness with self-disgust. The university is serious about the ‘task’ of teaching, so it doesn’t give us medical leave or paid leave to get married or have kids. Nor are we supposed to attend seminars the UGC loves so much,” the teacher added.
The teacher wrote that they can’t even rent a house as their appointment letter declares they are appointed only for four months.
“Our inability to pay a decent amount on time is known to the landlords, but you remain blissfully ignorant. In the lives of lakhs of my ad hoc friends, the regular incumbent has not come in the last 15 years because no such claimant exists. You know for sure, as the visitor of all Central universities, that permanent appointments have not been made for a long time,” he wrote.
He further tells the young students don’t wish to pursue teaching as a career anymore.
He says, “I often hear you say that the universities need to become globally competitive. The absence of the mention of teachers in this kind of chatter has dissuaded my brightest students from teaching as a career option. When they saw me sitting in the corridors, waiting to face yet another humiliating interview, their ideas about the life of a good teacher crashed.” He ends on a sad note and says,”To come out together is useless because we are adhocs. To come out alone is suicidal. After all, I am an adhoc and four months end too soon.”