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Pros and cons of the semester system

delhi Updated: Apr 11, 2011 23:21 IST
Hindustan Times
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The battle over the implementation of the semester system in DU has been long drawn. We bring you both sides of the coin.

Arguments given by the university administration in favour of the semester system

--The semester system will lead to greater flexibility in designing the syllabi of the courses. It will give students option to study subjects that come under different departments at the same time.

--The university wants a credit-based system. These credits of the students can be transferred even if they join other universities in India and abroad. At present, students from other countries doing short-term courses at DU get credits from their parent university but not vice versa.

--Semester system will synchronise undergraduate studies with postgraduate courses.

--Students will have to slog less as they will study in smaller chunks.

--There will be a more focused interaction with teachers.

--In the coming years, colleges will have greater autonomy to decide the content of courses.

--DU will be able to become a member of the National Knowledge Network, which provides a unified high-speed network for major institutions of the country. JNU, IITs and IIMs, which are part of it, are all in semester mode. "We will be able to benefit from it only if we are in the same mode. Only then will our students be able to exchange notes and study topics not being taught in their colleges," said Dinesh Singh, Vice-Chancellor, DU.

Arguments against the semester mode

--Semester system will not give students the opportunity to develop a perspective as there will be no time for extra reading.

--Administrative infrastructure to support two exams in a year is missing. There aren't enough administrative officials and teachers.

--In many courses the syllabi was simply bifurcated. This lacks internal logic as the current continuity and sequence has been developed consciously over time.

--The syllabi in many courses are being passed in haste, thus ruling out reform.

--Students from underprivileged backgrounds will suffer as they take longer to get acquainted with the system.

--The calendar for co-curricular activities has been disrupted. Semester exams will now force students to avoid activities.

--Students' right to get answer scripts re-evaluated has been taken away in the semester mode

--Teachers will not get enough time for research as more time and energy will be consumed in conducting exams, evaluating scripts and preparing results.