Monday, August 13, 2001

Lectures For Sale

First printed in The Daily Raag and reproduced in JAM: Just Another Magazine
Recently, the University of Mumbai introduced the revolutionary concept of hiring teachers on a contractual basis and paying them per lecture. Ah! Bliss! Wouldn’t it be great to have a whole new breed of lecturers who could come and take half-hour lectures in every college on a rotational basis?

This move has been welcomed with such enthusiasm across the Board, that we students propose the following new rules for University employees based on this theory:

* Heads of Department to be paid per 20 students majoring in that subject. This would encourage HODs to aggressively advertise their departments, making them attractive to students by luring them with ‘academic’ facilities such as air conditioned classrooms, cushioned chairs and free coffee.

* Laboratory attendants to be paid per test tube of stock solution prepared for use in experiments. The lab attendants’ union however is campaigning for payment per ounce of glassware broken by students, which would put their salaries at par with MNC CEOs

* University sports coaches to be paid per match won. This would make them far more competitive and aggressive, thus giving Mumbai Univ’s sports the professional edge that we see on WWF pro-wrestling.

* Examination moderators to be paid per student caught cheating. This would transform the usually nonchalant moderators into hawks and thus assure fairness to all students of the University. It’s a minor matter that this will only add further to the tension of the students (who will think twice even before twitching for fear of being accused).gupta classes

* Clerical and office staff to be paid per form filled by the students. This ‘master strategy’ will ensure that the clerks and other office staff will be more efficient. Who cares if they purposely double the amount of paperwork and red tape just to make more money? As long as the government is paying for it, “sab kuch chalta hai.”

Who knows! This argument might catch on in other professions too. Wouldn’t it be a refreshing paradigm shift to have civil engineers paid per brick laid, irrespective of the construction being completed? Or surgeons being paid per stitch, regardless of the patients’ survival? Maybe our armed forces could be given emoluments per bullet fired (at the enemy or otherwise).

The possibilities seem limitless. Aren’t we bursting with pride to be part of the University system - at the very forefront of education desecration?

-Abhimanyu Radhakrishnan