Calls for a scientific revamping of the system

The choice-based credit and semester (CBCS) system introduced by the University of Kerala has turned the academic activities of the affiliated colleges more messy than ever before, Syndicate member of the university Varghese Perayil has said.

Talking to The Hindu , Dr. Perayil, who is also the Principal of St. Cyril’s College, Adoor, said that many college teachers had complained that the system ate into the teaching hours, leaving the teaching-learning process, which was once the highlight of our educational programme, a lacklustre exercise. Ironically, the CBCS system had put the teachers more to clerical work than to teaching, leaving their academic potential untapped, he said.

The teachers of affiliated colleges, many of them having research degrees and valuable publications in the subjects concerned, are put to the work of conducting internal examinations, preparing students’ attendance list and grade sheets and doing online registration for students, he said.

Dr. Perayil said that examinations, both internal and external, conducted during the two semesters used to take at least three or four months out of the total 10 months of an academic year. Consequently, teachers get only six months, three months per semester, to cover the wide ranging topics, leave alone the public as well as local holidays, general strikes, hartals, and student agitations that had become characteristic of college campuses in the State. Besides this, one teacher was expected to supervise the assignments of at least 150 students in a semester, he said.

Dr. Perayil said the university examinations conducted with no regularity was followed by the centralised valuation camps that fall scattered over a period of three months, further reducing the number of teaching hours.

The unscientific syllabus setting process sans a holistic approach was another major problem facing the State’s higher education system, badly affecting the quality of undergraduate education, he said.

The Syndicate member alleged that the CBCS system sidetracked from the very purpose of education.

‘‘It is true that the semester system helps the students in many ways, especially in completing a topic and writing the examination soon rather than dragging it year-long. It is not the semester system that remains problematic, but the real problem lies with the manner in which it has been introduced. It is high time the authorities concerned looked seriously into it and took appropriate measures to revamp the system, inducting necessary changes rather than abolishing it,’’ Dr. Perayil said.