The academic council of the Delhi University (DU) may have passed the four-year-honours degree programme to be put into place next year but there are a number of issues that still remain.
The university's vice-chancellor has claimed that the new system will see an increased workload for teachers. According to a reply to an RTI query, the university is short of around 4,000 teachers at present. Recruitment, however, is on hold.
"The university is working with lesser number of teachers than required, skewing the student-teacher ratio. Evaluation, too, is a problem as even ad hoc teachers are being roped in to evaluate. Recruitment is a must if we have to become a better university," said a DU official on condition of anonymity.
Yet another problem is that of infrastructure in colleges. Most colleges in the city don't have the infrastructure to support even the current number of students they have. Hindustan Times had, in a series of stories in October, reported how most colleges don't have the classrooms or laboratories where students can work comfortably.
Under the new system, a whole new batch of fourth-year students will have to be accommodated in the coming four years. How the university will achieve this remains to be seen.
The biggest concern for teachers, meanwhile, is the syllabus.
"The four-year programme can be a very good thing or a useless 'reform'. It all depends upon how we change our syllabus. Sadly, no one has really thought about that so far. There are less than seven months for the new programme to be put into force and our syllabus is not ready!" said a teacher at St Stephen's College on the condition of anonymity.
The university, however, has assured that due attention will be given to syllabus setting.
"The work of the task force that was set up to prepare a proposal for the four-year programme is not over. The force will also make suggestions on the format of examinations and other reforms. It will also help set up a committee of teachers who will prepare the outline of a syllabus that will go to each department’s committee of courses for approval," said Sangeet Ragi, deputy dean, academics, Delhi University.