As the deadline for the implementation of Delhi University’s ambitious four-year programme fast approaches, new problems have been cropping up everyday from the structuring of the admissions and exam procedure to the forming of syllabus.
“One deadline has already been missed on March 31. We are not yet sure when we can put the final syllabus for approval before the Academic Council. We are trying very hard and it might be ready on Monday or it could take a couple of days,” said S. K. Garg, member of the committee tasked with working out the logistics of the Delhi University’s four-year undergraduate course from admissions to examinations and everything in between.
Another member, who did not wish to be identified, said the addition of new members to this committee was making things more chaotic. “One day, the pass percentage is fixed at 40, the next a new professor walks in and it is changed to 45 per cent. Many of us are getting frustrated,” he said.
However, it is not just this committee that is racing against time and confusion. The university is also having trouble with individual departments. The History Department last week had a peculiar problem. “Some teachers turned mutinous and refused to make the syllabus. After a long deliberation the matter was put to vote with some 20 teachers out of the 40-odd refusing to participate,” said Sangit Ragi, Deputy Dean, Academics.
The Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science had a staff council meeting this past week, where it decided not to make the syllabus for the B.P.Ed course that it was tasked with.
“There is a unanimous feeling that the four-years’ degree programme does not fulfil the requirements in the present shape and structure for producing primary and secondary school teachers of physical education for which our department is known for,” said the gist of the resolution, which added that they would call for a meeting with university authorities to further discuss the matter.
Teachers from the Political Science department have been complaining that they are being told to make the syllabus overnight, literally. “I was sent an email in the evening and told to submit my syllabus in the morning,” said a teacher from one of the prominent colleges in the university. He did not wish to be responsible for showing his department in poor light and so refrained from being named.
While some big departments refuse to co-operate or try to cram, there are some smaller departments facing the threat of obliteration.
“This new course threatens to dilute the subject so much that students would not find the need to pursue it, and, even if they did, it would be a sort of recreational course. We are already poor in the foreign languages department when we compare with institutes like Jawaharlal Nehru University. But, at least till now our students found jobs. Now even that will not be possible,” said one Spanish teacher, who again did not wish to be named.