Students have right to know coursework: Delhi University AC members on UGCF implementation

Asking DU to review the decision of not including English in the choices offered under AEC module, the AC members said, “This limitation is undesirable".

Students have right to know coursework: Delhi University AC members on UGCF implementation Delhi University
Anu Parthiban | Nov 23, 2022 - 8:03 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Delhi University students are disappointed after first semester classes are not being taught in colleges because of the hurried implementation of the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF), Democratic Teachers' Front Secretary Abha Dev Habib said. Stating that the DU admissions to PG programmes have not yet started, she said, “This state of affairs in a primer institution should worry all.”

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Expressing concern over the new curriculum framework, Abha Dev Habib said: "It is for the first time that classes of the first semester are going untaught in all colleges. This is especially true of courses of Skill Enhancement Courses, Value Addition Courses and Ability Enhancement Courses, which add up to 6 credits, ie, 10-12 hours of teaching per week. Students are spending over Rs 10-15,000 per month in rented accommodations or over Rs 100 in travelling to their colleges. They are finding it disappointing and disorienting that many classes are not happening.”

The academic session for the first-year Delhi University students began on November 2, 2022. The syllabi of the second semester and for some courses, for both semester-I and II were placed before the DU Academic Council for its consideration today. All these courses have been implemented under UGCF from this year.

Asking the university to review the decision of not including English in the choices offered under AEC module, the council members said, “This limitation is undesirable – it will deny a meaningful choice to students”. “Rules regarding internal assessment and examination scheme are yet to be adopted for the UGCF,” it said.

“The fact that the University itself sent a circular dated 2.11.2022 to colleges regarding Knowledge Network Cluster Colleges for organization of optional papers under SEC, VAC and AEC only after the beginning of the session shows that the University does not understand that to start teaching on the first day, preparation of time-table etc. precede commencement of classes,” the academic council members observed.

Objections to manner of UGCF implementation

The university announced the creation of cluster colleges just a day before the commencement of the new academic year. “The Knowledge Network Cluster Colleges plan requires a common time-table across colleges, which is a logistical nightmare. In order to implement this scheme, many more hours will have to be provided to students for commuting from one college to another,” the members pointed out.

“Admission of a student is to a Course. It is the right of the students to know the coursework, syllabi and evaluation scheme before they take admission. Students have been given admission in courses on the basis of syllabi of papers to be offered in the first semester and in some places, it seems that students do not even know the syllabi of Semester–I papers,” it said.

The academic council members further questioned, “Even after the enrollment of students in UGCF courses, the University has failed to table the syllabi of the entire coursework. How can a student make sensible choices and how can teachers help students if we cannot see before us the entire coursework with its breadth and depth.”

“Many departments are working with a select few teachers in creating these courses and syllabi, thus violating democratic norms of holding meetings of all teachers (General Bodies) and working through sub-committees for broad areas,” the members said, adding that the feedback of UG teachers has been ignored in many departments.

“The common feeling of all teachers (even those who have participated) is that the decrease in credits for papers is resulting in huge dilution of the core discipline. Those teaching core papers to semester-I students are finding to their dismay that in most papers, especially science papers, the decreased number of teaching hours is not reflected in the course content,” it added.


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