Students at Dhaka University's residential halls say many of their house tutors, tasked with supervising them and ensuring their welfare, largely skirt their assigned duties and responsibilities.
Many students even said that the tutors, supposed to regularly visit the halls, are rarely seen. But these tutors do not shy away from enjoying the facilities provided by the university, and rejected the allegations raised against them.The Dhaka University Ordinance 1973 specify that the role of a house tutor includes monitoring the arrival and departure of residential students, daily roll call, seeking explanations from absentees, vetting leave applications and looking after the dining rooms, canteens, furniture and other hall properties.
Currently, the university has around 150 house tutors and 112 assistant house tutors, apart from 19 provosts for as many residential halls. The university allocated Tk 69.5 lakh (almost Tk 7 million) to cover their allowances during the 2018-19 fiscal.
Nine house tutors and three assistant house tutors are being appointed against 2,564 students at Surja Sen Hall. Provost Dr ASM Maksud Kamal said the number is meager.
"It's impossible to properly maintain a dorm and its environment with such a small manpower," he told UNB. "The administration must increase manpower if it wants to run the dorms properly."
He admitted that pressure from political parties' student wings did hamper their work at times. "Sometimes, the hall administration and especially house tutors are forced to avoid some of their duties in the face of pressure from the student wings," he said.
The university pays Tk 2,100 allowance to a house tutor and Tk 1,400 to an assistant house tutor per month. Besides, they get points for promotion, and residential accommodation near the hall they are assigned to, on condition of completing duties in timely fashion.A number of residential students of Haji Muhammad Mohsin Hall complained that their house tutors rarely visit the dining rooms to ensure the food quality or the kitchen's environment.
Simul Shahriyar, a residential student of Bijoy Ekattor Hall, echoed others. He pointed out that regular visit by house tutors can solve issues such as seat allocation and help ensure that students are served standard meals.
But an assistant house tutor of the hall, Md Juel Mia, rejected the allegations, saying that they try to visit the students regularly and provide their best services.
However, Tanvir Hasan, a residential student of Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, said he does not even know who his house tutor is.
"I haven't seen any house tutor in the last one month in his block," he said.