DU English teachers urge DUTA president to intervene, restore their department’s workload

DU teachers urged the DUTA president to ensure English remains intact as an AEC course and as a core language course in BA, BCom programmes.


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DU English department (Source: Official Website)DU English department (Source: Official Website)

Vagisha Kaushik | July 5, 2022 | 06:22 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Over 450 English teachers of the Delhi University have urged the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) president to intervene and restore the workload of English department which they dread will be “massively” reduced due to the implementation of Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) from the 2022-23 academic year leading to loss of livelihoods for hundreds of ad-hoc teachers.

“We note with alarm, that the proposed structures of UGCF, single out the English department in particular for a massive reduction, almost in the range of one-third of its existing workload,” the teachers said in their petition to DUTA president A K Bhagi.

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In the petition, the teachers said the UGCF structure says that Ability Enhancement Courses (AEC) courses are offered only in the languages included in VIII Schedule and that does not include English.

“With the removal of English as an option in AEC, English departments across the University are staring at a drastic reduction of workload. Colleges like Kirori Mal and Ramjas have lost 60+ lectures while Hansraj, Shaheed Bhagat Singh (M) and others have lost more than 50 lectures next semester,” the petition read.

Ad-hoc teachers in loss

The teachers argued that the UGCF structure of BA, BCom Programme has removed the core papers of English language and a minimum of 30 lectures are lost in every section of these programmes.

“The most devastating impact of the removal of compulsory English courses on workload has been felt in colleges which do not offer honours or programme courses in English. Colleges like Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Lady Irwin College, Institute of Home Economics, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied sciences and Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women are facing a situation where the permanent teachers do not have enough workload for themselves,” the petition stated.

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Many ad-hoc teachers in these colleges have been told by their principals that their services are not required in the next semester, the petition said.

As per the Statutes of the University of Delhi, students belonging to the North-East, Jammu and Kashmir and Foreign nationals are exempted from studying Hindi or MIL, and have always been given English as an option. “This statutory provision has been upheld and reiterated by the university in every academic reform undertaken by the University since 2005: whether in the semester system of 2010-11, FYUP of 2013 or the CBCS 2015. "The proposed UGCF structure denies the aforesaid option to students and violates a laid down and a long-standing enabling provision of the University in favour of students coming from diverse backgrounds,” the petition argued.

English for ability enhancement

The teachers also asserted that the proposed UGCF structure does not take into account the reality of school education where students study English till Class 12 as a compulsory language across the country, as against the option of any other language in their Class 12 exam. While the AEC courses offered in Indian languages are welcome, the removal of English as an AEC course amounts to denial of option to students as per their proficiency level, the petition added.

Further, the petition said that the DU, instead of abiding by the spirit of the UGC recommendation to offer compulsory language courses both in English and Indian languages across the initial semesters of the UG programme, has chosen to ignore the same and has refused to allow English to be offered as a language to all students enrolled in the UG programme in order to equip them with the requisite skill development for employability.

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The teachers have urged the DUTA president to ensure English remains intact as an AEC course and also as a core language course in BA and BCom programmes.

"This will protect the existing workload of English departments, while also crucially safeguarding the livelihood of hundreds of adhoc teachers working in English departments across the university,” who are “currently battling the pressures of uncertainty and are at the receiving end of the damages that these academic changes portend.”

DU Academic Council (AC) and Executive Council (EC) have already approved the UGCF.

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