Angry over being treated like school children despite reaching the university level and disenchanted with the new foundation courses under the new four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), a large number of first year students boycotted class and joined a protest against FYUP organised by several student associations on the North Campus of Delhi University on Wednesday.
“We did not sign up for this. What they told us about the new four-year programme before we joined and what we are getting once we started class are two completely different things altogether,” said a girl who had boycotted class along with about 20 of her friends, who are spread across the prominent girls’ colleges across the South Campus. “They initially told us we could take whatever minor subject we wanted, now each college says that a student will be given a choice of two subjects within which we can choose,” she added.
“We have class from 8-45 a.m. and it ends only at 5 p.m. I have no time for anything. I just go home and sleep, all tired out. I had a lot of ideas of what society I would join once I reached college and the sort of social life I would have, instead I am forced to take some class called “trees have life” or something which is like the sort of thing my little brother in fifth standard learns,” said another very angry girl.
“The worst is Hindi class. There is an essay writing exercise, the sort we did in Class II …apne parivar ke bare me likho,” was another complaint that drew a lot of laughs and then some more shouting and angry complaints.
“I thought I was done with long divisions and multiplications, the point of college is that you can choose to study what you want but here we are being saddled with subjects we don’t like. In fact, we have more subjects here than at school and we are being made to attend more classes than we did at school,” said another girl, the leader of the group who, after an argument with the gang, said all of them shouldn’t be named because their teachers had warned them about students getting into trouble if they were too critical of the university.
“I don’t really mind being in college for four years, its not like we have plans of being married after three years or cannot afford to stay in college for another year. But, we don’t want to waste time on the stupid things that the teachers are telling us to do all day. Project work that sounds like primary school stuff --I just wish I had known all this. I would have just taken admissions in some private college,” said another girl.Many, however, did not agree with this view. “We cannot really afford to go for private universities with sky-high fees and no reputations; we just have to make our peace with our bad luck at being made guinea pigs,” said Deepika, from a North Campus college. Her statement made the rest of the crowd even angrier.