In a first, Delhi University officials tackled questions by parents and students on the new four-year undergraduate programme head-on at an Open Day.
The director of South Campus, Umesh Rai, who is also a member of the academic and executive council, answered a number of questions related to the rationale, structure and usefulness of the new course in a marathon question-answer session on Friday morning.
“It is not true that the decision to bring in the four-year programme was taken without discussion. There was ample discussion and debate around it,” Rai said when a parent asked about the lack of debate.
A number of parents also asked questions about the usefulness of the four-year programme over the existing system.
“The old course gave students a lot of theoretical knowledge without the opportunity to apply it. We have combined the best of the theory and practical knowledge in the new courses,” Rai explained.
The question that was repeated the most, however, was about the foundation courses and their mandatory nature. A number of students wondered why they should study topics that they have already left behind in class 11.
“I don’t understand why I should study history and information technology if I am studying commerce. We are being told that these are school-level courses. Shouldn’t such a change be brought about at the level of schools?” said Sanchi Gupta, a student.
Rai told the students that the foundation courses were not something that is taught at school-level.
“These courses are going to help students understand the challenges being faced by the country and will also make students aware of their immediate environment. No school curriculum teaches these things,” he said. This was the first time that parents and students were allowed questions about the FYUP. Earlier, the students and parents were told that the sessions were for questions about the admission process alone. However, in the face of criticism of their approach, the officials decided to take up the questions.
A number of students also asked about admission under the ECA category and were told that they will have to contact colleges to fill ECA and sports category forms.
The university officials also assured the students and parents that the revised course content would be put online within the next 10 days.