Nearly 50 Delhi University teachers from different departments gathered at North Campus on Monday to discuss the ramifications of the four-year degree programme that will be introduced in all undergraduate disciplines from the upcoming session.
Among the biggest concerns was the position of the poor students and women in the new programme. Since the number of years to complete a three-year degree has increased, the cost of education and staying in Delhi too will rise.
“A number of students will not be able to afford an honours degree in the new system. Currently, a student is forced to pay close to R10,000 per month if she/her stays as a paying guest near the university. This does not include the tuition fee. The new system will force more students to drop out after two or three years due to prohibitive costs,” said Vinita Chandra, who teaches English at Ramjas College.
“Women who come from conservative or underprivileged background will be the first casualty in the new system as they may not be able to complete their honours degree due to familial or financial pressures,” she added.
Some teachers have begin protesting against the hurried manner in which changes are being implemented in the university at a ‘break-neck speed’.
Physics teacher, Abha Dev Habib, who is also a member of the executive council, dissociated herself from the committee that was called upon to set the syllabus under the new programme. Some others have raised questions about how the new programme will function.
“A number of teachers have raised questions about how the fourth year will work. Since students have been given the option of exiting at the end of two and three years, how will the workload be decided? This will result in a rise in contractual posts and ad-hocism which have proved to be exploitative,” said a professor, who did not wish to be named.