As the debate over Self-Funding Courses (SFCs) in Odisha Universities is gaining attention and gaining momentum, it has been revealed that the state government is struggling to keep these courses afloat with poor infrastructural support and a shortage of faculty at universities.
Odisha has almost 7000 places in several self-funded courses in 20 public universities and other technical universities. However, the situation on the ground tells an entirely different story.
According to reports, almost all SFCs in universities are struggling with staff shortages and poor infrastructure. The situation forced disinterested students to be admitted.
For example, the self-funding BSc Nursing course opened at Utkal University’s second campus in Chandikhol two years ago saw protests and agitation from students to fill faculty positions, which operated with only three staff members. But the situation remains the same this year too, with only 10 entries this session against a total of 45 places.
Expressing his frustration, an SFC student from Utkal University, Biswajit said, “There is an urgent need for reforms in SFC. There are no studios, no classrooms. The situation has become so serious that students are forced to wait for other classes to arrive to study in the single classroom used for multiple lessons.
Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar (BJB) College in Bhubaneswar is facing similar problems in its eight SFCs run in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
Similarly, the autonomous college MPC in Baripada, which operates 10 different SFCs, does not have a single regular faculty.
The situation of SFC in Odisha has raised concerns among intellectuals and academicians who have suggested that the government should take immediate action to induct more faculties and improve infra, especially when students have to pay hefty fees. money for SFC.
Kamala Prasad Mohapatra, Pedagogue and Fellow of Mo College, said: “Government has no problem running SFC. In fact, the government can also benefit by providing employment opportunities for students.
“There are enough teachers in these classes. However, if there is indeed a shortage, then the government should address it by analyzing the situation,” he added.
The debate started after Odisha’s higher education department wrote to senior officials, who are in charge of 13 universities in the state, to streamline self-funding courses on April 17. The department had asked institutions to refrain from launching such courses from the following day. academic year 2022-23.
However, Odisha’s higher education department did an about-face by withdrawing the order on Monday.