It may be tempting for many who opposed the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP) to celebrate and say the entire course was badly thought-out and deserved to go, but experts warn this could harm the university more than the current mess did.
There were a number of things the new course brought, which were badly needed to revive courses that were getting old and irrelevant, say teachers who have been part of the university for a long time.
“There is no doubt it was time to change. The university had been working in the same mould for decades. Courses were changed here and there but an overhaul in thinking was required. Had the FYUP been implemented and executed properly, it would have changed the face of this university,” said a senior professor who was impressed with the programme but dismayed at its execution.
For those who were opposing FYUP, the biggest resistance was against foundation courses — 11 courses that sought to make students more aware about the problems the country was facing but ended up teaching them what they have already learnt in school.
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“If we ignore the foundation courses completely, since they were shoddily designed, the idea of having applied courses was a great one. What we miss from our courses now is an element that makes us apply what we have learnt. Under the previous system, which we will now be implementing, the emphasis is on learning. We may have changed the courses and the content but the idea behind it remains the same. We need courses that will help students formulate their own ideas and use them. This is what we had hoped the applied courses would do,” said a teacher who teaches political science at a prominent north campus college.
The idea of devoting a semester to research was also very appealing.
“If only the university had brought in these changes in a phased manner. The component of research is very important. Those who have been saying university students are too immature to conduct research really need to see the kind of research coming out of undergraduate universities across the globe. It is true better infrastructure is needed to support research but throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not the solution,” said a teacher at Lady Shri Ram College for Women.
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Teachers hope they can perhaps persuade the departments to change the courses for the better and update them in the coming two years.
“To ask for a change immediately would be impractical but it is our duty to make sure that we imbibe the best of what FYUP had envisioned,” the teacher added.