If all goes as planned, postgraduate students of Delhi University (DU) will have the opportunity to evaluate their teachers’ performance at the end of the current academic year.
The recent recommendation of a similar nature made in the report submitted on Friday by the University Grants Commission Pay Review Committee comes as a shot in arm for the varsity, which had already passed the proposal in its Academic Council (AC) meeting in February.
But DU hasn’t yet taken a call on whether it will implement the Pay Review Committee’s suggestion to use this while deciding on faculty promotion.
Teachers here are obviously not as excited as the students. In fact, the proposal faced dissent while being passed at the AC meeting.
“Elected representatives of the teaching body were worried this may be used as a tool to victimise teachers by students with political motivation,” said AC member J Khuntia.
“Receiving student feedback is necessary to improve the academic environment. But I am not comfortable with this serving as a criterion for determining promotion of all teachers. The theatrics required to engage a History class of 100 is quite different from what is required to teach a science class of a much smaller strength,” said TKV Subramaniam, a professor of the history department.
Teachers also have issues with the format of the proposed questionnaire. “The answer options to all the questions are in black and white –– yes or no. So, a teacher’s performance is either satisfactory or not up to the mark. There’s nothing in between,” said KK Agarwal a faculty member of the Operational Research department.
DU Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental has his rebuttal ready for all doubts and apprehensions. “The format of the questionnaire is not cast in stone and will be changed with time and experience. We are introducing this system with the intention of ushering in accountability. As far as the question of this system being misused goes, I think it’s important for teachers to believe their students have respect for them,” he said.