All the three under-graduate classes of Delhi University will follow different course structures when the new academic session opens on July 20, the result of a string of changes introduced in the programme in the last three years.
Those starting college will study under the choice-based credit system (CBCS) being introduced this year. Second year students will follow the semester system while final year students will be taught under the restructured four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP), which was reduced to three years in 2014 after days of protest. In addition, students at the School of Open Learning follow the annual system.
It is chaos in the making, warn teachers. They say courses will overlap, students will be burdened and there are not enough teachers to carry forward the changes.
“We are being pushed to adapt to new schemes without consultation. We will have to make time tables keeping in mind that many courses would overlap and teachers may not be available to teach the overlapping courses,” university’s executive council member Abha Dev Habib said.
The pace of reforms was such that teachers, students and the system were all struggling to keep up, said Habib, a teacher with Miranda House.
The university has overhauled its undergraduate programme thrice in as many years. The latest, CBCS, will allow students to take optional courses outside their subject as well as college.
Rudrashish Chakraborty, who teaches English at Kirori Mal College, said courses in Indian and European classical literature were to be taught to CBCS, second year and third year students. “Not every college will have the experts to teach all three years at the same time. This poses a problem,” he said.
The university had turned into a laboratory for experiments, which would hit the students hardest, said Rajesh Jha, a teacher of political science at Rajdhani College.
“All the three systems are different... Before we could make up for the FYUP fiasco we had CBCS being forced upon us,” Jha said.
FYUP was rolled back in 2014 barely a year after it was introduced but not before days of protests. Students, however, continue to bear the brunt of the rollback — they have a year less but more subjects now. “The restructuring of FYUP course into the three-year format led to a lot of confusion,” said Priyanka Kapoor, a final year student at Ramjas College.
Kapoor would have studied literary theory for a year and then write her exam but was forced to do it in six months. “...we are not able to focus on any one topic properly,” she said.
DU says it is prepared for the transition and the fears were unfounded. “The university is fully prepared and there would be no problem at all in teaching-learning process,” a university official said on condition of anonymity.