Thursday, 21 October, 2021
E-paper

Revision of MPO Policy-21 needed

The education ministry has formulated MPO Policy-21 for MPO enlisted educational institutions. In this policy, there are many positive changes from the policy formulated earlier. For example, at the college level, 5:2 ratio systems have been abolished in the post of assistant professor. According to section no 11.4 of the MPO Policy-2021, 50 per cent of the teachers having eight years of teaching experience will be promoted to the post of assistant professor, after being judged by certain assessment indicators mentioned in the MPO Policy-2021. The rest of the teachers will get higher grades if they have 10 years satisfactory teaching experience and other higher grades will be available for those who have taught in college for six years uninterruptedly. After completing 16 years, they will be promoted to the post of assistant professor.

 But some questions and frustrations have arisen in these connections. Firstly, is the section applicable for new colleges or to all colleges? If this section is applicable only to new colleges, then the question is what rules will the old colleges follow to promote to assistant professor from lecturer? And if this rule applies to old colleges as well, then the question arises, will the 50 per cent rule exist in this case? If not, then it is a commendable initiative, but if it continues, then they will be promoted to the post of assistant professor only on the basis of seniority without evaluation, then why the various indicators of evaluation mentioned in the MPO policy 2021? In other words, where and how will this assessment indicator be applied?

Secondly, if 50 per cent quota is maintained for the post of assistant professors and the other lecturers are to be promoted to the post of assistant professors after completing 16 years of teaching, then the lecturers may not be able to apply for promotion to assistant professor, even if they hold a higher degree with publications in journals and many other praiseworthy qualifications, as 50 per cent of assistant professor posts will be already filled-up. In this case, will the formulation of objective assessment indicators be implemented? Otherwise, won’t many teachers be discriminated against and their qualifications devalued?

Thirdly, as all the degree level colleges are run by the instruction of the National University. I think Section 11.4 of the MPO Policy or policy of assistant professor promotion is in conflict with the Private Teacher Employment Rules-2019 which is framed by the National University. Because, according to National University rules for promotion to the post of assistant professor, teachers are required to have at least five years of satisfactory teaching experience and two research articles published in any recognised journal.

Fourthly, at present, there are many degree colleges where there are 20 or 30 or more teachers who have been promoted to the post of assistant professor as per the previous policy and the rest of the teachers have been working as lecturers for 16-22 years. According to the current policy, teachers who have been teaching 16 years uninterruptedly will now be promoted to assistant professor from lecturer. After that, teachers who have been appointed and served 6-15 years as lecturer cannot apply for the post of assistant professor before retirement of the existing assistant professor, although they may have M.Phil./PhD degree including two or more publications in recognised journals and other praiseworthy activities due to the 50 per cent quota. How will the ministry evaluate these issues?

Fifthly, in MPO Policy-21, the concept of assessment for promotion is very good, but there is no guideline on the condition of getting a certain mark in the assessment index and no mandatory condition mentioned in the MPO policy-2021for promotion! So, it is of concern that if any teacher who has gathered eight years satisfactory uninterrupted teaching experience they can be promoted as assistant professor even if they get 20 out of 100 marks in the assessment index due to not mentioned mandatory field or qualifying mark in the assessment rather than seniority. After his promotion a significant portion of other teachers may carry 80 out of 100 marks in the evaluation index, yet they may have to wait for 18-20 years to be promoted to the post of assistant professor due to a deficit of 2-3 years from only eight years!

Sixthly, if everyone becomes assistant professor in 16 years, then the post of ‘associate professor’ needs to be introduced. Because, all assistant professors will exceed associate professor’s basic salary in just six years. Therefore, if they are promoted to the post of associate professor and professor based on their publications and research, then the government will not have to spend any extra money. Instead, a chain of command will be established in the institution.

However, there are two ways to get rid of the above problem. The above problem can be solved only by implementing the rules and regulations laid down by the National University under the title ‘National University Affiliated Private College Teachers Terms of Service Regulation (Amended) – 2019’. Therefore, if the rules of the National University are followed for promotion to the post of assistant professor by giving priority to research, there will be no more discrimination or problem. There will be no way for any teacher to be deprived and no incompetent person will be able to hold the post of assistant professor. This is because the rules laid down by the National University for its affiliated private teachers have an obligation to publish two research papers in a recognised journal with five years of teaching experience for promotion to the post of assistant professor. Now, if a teacher cannot publish a research paper in a recognised journal even after 15 years, he cannot be an assistant professor even after 15 years and will have no chance to blame anyone other than himself for not being able to do so.

Secondly, there is another way to solve this problem for the time being and the approach is to give three years of teaching experience as per the policy of the university and create an opportunity for everyone to apply for the post of assistant professor. This will not deprive senior teachers who have 15 marks for seniority in the assessment index. And those who are more qualified among the junior teachers will also get a worthy assessment of their qualifications. We must remember that the Prime Minister said in a meeting with public administration officials in 2019 that promotion will not be based on seniority and now the Prime Minister is giving top priority to research. So, research and higher degrees should be given the highest priority in promotion.

However, there are concerns about the number of assessment indicators and the method of assessment, such as the presence of the highest class in the assessment index. What does this mean? The number of classes given to the teacher in the class routine is the same as the number of classes. How to calculate the maximum number of classes? Adding some examples of creative or exemplary work will also make it much easier to number for the evaluation committee.

 Finally, it is necessary to specify the number for each article published in a journal. Academicians believe that where the Prime Minister has given priority to research, the promotion of assistant professor is given less importance to research in the evaluation index. A total of 20 marks should be allotted in the evaluation index for the research publication and at least two publications are required for promotion to assistant professor. At the same time adding 15-20 marks for M.Phil. / PhD will be more meaningful and acceptable. Since the post of assistant professor will now be used for university level teachers, the qualifications that a university teacher has to prove to be an assistant professor should be given importance here as well.

 

Md. Sharifur Rahman Adil, a Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Feni South–East Degree College