The Bangladesh University Grants Commission (UGC) finalised the "Public University Teaching Load Calculation Policy 2022" with a provision for 40 hours of duty in a week at the university for direct teaching, research and other academic activities.
The required hours are much higher than in other neighbouring countries.
According to the policy, teachers will be required to spend 13 hours for direct teaching in a week and 27 hours for research, counselling and administrative activities. Besides, the teachers will have to spend at least one hour for students' counselling.
The head of the department or institute will spend 30 hours instead of the 40 hours mandated for general teachers.
Each teacher will have to spend the time engaged in 22 types of activities.
Professor Dr Biswajit Chanda, member of the UGC, told The Business Standard that they have finalised the policy after meeting with different stakeholders.
"We will publish it soon."
According to a UGC source, the policy was taken after observing that a number of public university teachers allegedly do not spend their allotted time in their departments, using the time instead to take classes at private universities or other institutions.
The source said a gazette will be issued shortly and universities would begin implementing it soon after.
Employees, too, will have to work 35 hours each week, which means each employee will have to work seven hours as direct working hours a day.
According to the policy, every department will have to evaluate teachers' performance and send the evaluation to the university authorities.
Universities will also be required to submit the performance reports to the UGC every six months.
The UGC will evaluate the performance of the teachers and employees, and fix the amount of manpower required for each university.
No additional manpower will be recruited without the UGC's permission.
In line with the policy, no department will be allowed to admit more than 60 students for an academic session. Besides, a maximum of 30 students will be allowed to take practical classes at the laboratory.
A teacher will teach 10 students during laboratory classes. The same will be applied for medical colleges as well.
For the medical teachers (doctors), lectures when visiting patients will count towards the teaching hours.
A department or institute can appoint extra 20% teachers, who will take over when a teacher goes abroad.
The teachers who go for higher studies will have to submit their resignations which will be made official if they do not return on time, the policy said.
Professor Akhtaruzzaman, vice-chancellor of the Dhaka University, told TBS that the load calculation policies will ensure transparency among teachers and employees.
"I welcome the initiative."
Professor Dr Satya Prasad Majumder, vice-chancellor of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, told TBS that the policies will compel the teachers to concentrate more on research and other academic activities.
Direct teaching hours in other countries
In India, the number of teaching hours for an assistant professor is 16 hours weekly; associate professors and professors have 14 hours, including time spent on tutorials and practical.
In Sri Lanka, the number of teaching hours for assistant professors, associates, and full time professors is six to seven hours a week and they are compelled to work more than two hours if the authorities require them to do so.
The number of teaching hours for senior lecturers, lecturers, and lecturers is nine hours a week and 10 hours for assistants. They are also compelled to work more than three to four hours respectively if the authorities feel it necessary.
In the USA, assistant professors on average teach nine to 12 hours weekly or two classes per semester. They are expected to conduct research projects and publish research papers. The position can be seen as a training period during which one works to develop a case for tenure.
Associate professors spend fewer hours on undergraduate teaching (about 6-9 hours a week) and are likely to lead graduate classes and advise graduate students on their dissertation projects.
Full professors usually teach 3-6 hours per week. They take an active role in the research projects and dissertations of doctoral candidates.