Thiruvananthapuram: In a move that could potentially remodel the employment structure, the Department of Higher Education has directed to appoint teachers in the colleges and universities on tenure-based contract.

The department has put forward a suggestion to implement tenure track system in which the teachers are appointed on a five-year contract. The recommendation is made for the next annual plan.

There are more than 1000 teaching vacancies in the government and aided colleges and universities in the state. The government also intends to allot at least two courses in all universities in the next annual plan.

The new system is based on the assumption that the youngsters can acquire qualification for industrial and business sectors only if more advanced courses are introduced.

In this context, the government has no financial capacity to fill the permanent vacancies. The vacant teaching positions will affect the NAAC accreditation and National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking. Many of the universities and colleges went down in ranking because of the vacant teaching positions.

UGC will recognize tenure track appointments as permanent appointments. The contract will be valid for five years. Though they should be paid salary in UGC scale, the government will get relaxation in the long term liabilities including pension. Continuation of the post will be decided after assessing their service during the five years.

The major criticism against the decision is that the posts are permanent for only 5 years. As the teaching sector is highly influenced by politics, the future of the teachers can be affected.

However, the system has already been implemented in other states. The department has also put forward a suggestion to purchase land for the headquarters of Malayalam University and APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University.