DU’s open school students facing classroom crunch | delhi | Hindustan Times
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DU’s open school students facing classroom crunch

Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL) — the best option for students who don’t make the cut to mainstream colleges — is facing a severe classroom crunch.

delhi Updated: Apr 29, 2012 23:51 IST
Shaswati Das

Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL) — the best option for students who don’t make the cut to mainstream colleges — is facing a severe classroom crunch.

Only 25% of the three-lakh students enrolled in SOL have access to classroom interactions. The college offers the same courses as well as a DU degree on completion.

“DU is a dual-mode university because it conducts regular and open learning classes. Students who are enrolled in SOL have to follow the same curriculum and get the same degree. We had requested colleges to give us their faculty during holidays and vacations so that these children get a classroom learning experience,” said HC Pokhriyal, executive director, SOL.

The SOL authorities say it is DU’s responsibility to provide infrastructure and that employing additional faculty to teach the same courses is not at all viable.

“It is not feasible to appoint 3,000 new teachers because the courses are the same. But very few colleges have agreed to give us their infrastructure. These are public resources and they need to be utilised for public welfare. These colleges should have an ethical responsibility towards the students of SOL,” said Pokhriyal.

According to a Right to Information (RTI) reply, SOL had sent a request to 55 colleges for using their infrastructure and faculty for classes. But only 12 have responded positively.

Several prominent colleges such as Sri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Gargi College, Hansraj College, Hindu College and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (DDU) have refused to lend their infrastructure.

They argue that space is a constraint and that their faculty cannot be spared all seven days of the week.

“We operate from a school building and it is only 30 per cent of the space that we actually need. We already conduct classes till late evening and conduct SOL’s exams. It is not feasible to do so many extra things because our faculty will have to work all seven days and this will affect their efficiency,” said SK Garg, principal, DDU College.

University Vice-Chancellor Dinesh Singh claimed everything was being done to develop the open school. “We are doing our best and are trying to come up with an effective platform for SOL. We will use more technology to create a better open learning platform for these students soon,” said Singh.