With online classes starting in all arts and science colleges in Tamil Nadu, the guest lecturers of the government arts and science colleges have once again appealed for the payment of their pending salaries.
Around 4,000 guest lecturers, employed on a temporary basis in these colleges, have not received their salary of ₹15,000 per month since April.
The Higher Education Department has so far argued that the contract of guest lecturers is renewed every year and hence, their appointments and their salaries could not be processed owing to the lockdown.
“We are generally paid till March every year. The salary of April is paid when the next academic year commences... However, nothing has happened this year despite all of us struggling due to COVID-19,” said V. Thangaraj, State president, Tamil Nadu All Government College UGC Qualified Guest Lecturers’ Association.
Many colleges, especially those having Shift 2, relied mainly on guest lecturers. “Now that we have begun working, they should release the salaries,” he said.
Sources in the Department said that while the majority of the government arts and science colleges had begun engaging guest lecturers for the online classes, some were yet to do so. A.R. Nagarajan, adviser to Tamil Nadu NET SLET Association, who works in a government college in Theni district, said a large number of guest lecturers were not in a position to afford a smartphone and Internet link owing to their paltry salaries.
“The Department has placed on the teachers the onus of having Internet connection and smartphones or laptops to teach online classes. With the salary pending for four months, it is difficult for a lot of us,” he said.