The High Court judgement may have forced the Delhi University (DU) teachers to teach the science courses in the semester mode but on Tuesday, many teachers expressed their reservation about implementing the semester system in all the courses from the new academic session 2011-12.
After an interactive session with the students on Monday, DU vice chancellor Dinesh Singh addressed teachers from various colleges at the university’s indoor stadium. “It is an exercise to learn and understand the teachers’ needs, so that we can respond in a better fashion. Until we learn what are the real issues, we cannot resolve them,” said Singh.
Singh announced a new task force that has been appointed for a new scheme, where 10 students and three faculty members will work on an innovative proposal funded by the university. He also said the university will give a grant of R1 crore to teachers for research work and to attend seminars abroad.
But all these sops failed to impress the teachers who raised doubts about the feasibility of implementing the semester system.
“The ideal classroom strength for courses taught in the semester system should be 1:18 but in DU it is usually 1:60. It works well in a university with a smaller number of students,” said Shankar Ghosh, who teaches at Dayal Singh College.
“You should take into account the teachers’ problems rather than imposing what the HRD ministry has proposed.
Rather than imposing the ministry’s decision on us, you should convey our thoughts to them, since we are the ones who teach these courses,” Pamela Anwar, who teaches at Ram Lal Anand College told the VC.
The VC had earlier said, “We will follow each and every regulation while restructuring the courses in the semester mode. If you think we are transgressing, let us know. Nobody’s workload will increase and we are open to be guided.”
He also said that at a time when India is moving ahead, it is important for the university to reinvent itself.
Besides discussing the semester system, the teachers also complained about poor and inadequate infrastructure in colleges.
Foundation day: St Stephen’s chalks out 2050 masterplan
New courses and revival of existing infrastructure—this is what the students at St Stephen’s College want from the administration at the earliest.
Students put forth these suggestions at the 130th Foundation Day of the college, where alumni and members of the administration gathered to discuss the provisions of the Vision 2050 Masterplan they had come up with in December last.
“We need a fresh perspective and new courses. We are still studying the same courses people studied 60 years back. Courses such as Psychology and Sociology, which are already being offered by different colleges in the university, should be introduced. This does not need to wait till 2050 but can be done in the coming few years,” said Aditya, president of the college students’ union.
Students also spoke up against the proposal in the Vision 2050 document that suggested developing a particular stream and making it the college’s forte.
“The college should look at offering more courses for study so that more students can join the college without lowering its academic standards. The courses being taught currently also need an upgrade in syllabi,” said Chayantra Singh Rathore, a Ist year student in the college.
An upgrade in the current infrastructure facilities was also demanded. “The residence (hostel) needs an upgrade. The electrical connections and fittings need to be changed. This should be done keeping in mind the architecture and character of the college,” Aditya said.
Former journalist and alumnus of the college, BG Verghese also reiterated the need to adopt new courses and provide scholarships to students. “The academic base is narrow as of now. We need more courses. Initially, certificate courses can be introduced to give a taste of different subjects,” he said.
Navin Chawla, former CEC, Sunil Singh, Bishop of Delhi and Montek Singh Ahluwalia were also present at the event.