The results of this semester’s exam might spell bad news for Delhi University (DU) students as teachers are working under ‘tremendous’ pressure.
With the examination season having started, teachers said that they have to carry out their respective invigilation duty daily without fail. They added that they also have to report for the evaluation work all seven days a week, including government holidays.
With the university's exam branch delegating evaluation duties, teachers said the pressure on them would adversely affect the quality of correction — something that would not stand the students in good stead.
"The university’s examination branch does not have an answer to basic questions such as the minimum and the maximum number of papers a teacher is required to correct. Ad hoc teachers have to correct papers too. Correction is subjective and a matter of experience. If one has no experience, he/she can either be too lenient or too strict. There must be some qualitative judgment when it comes to assessment," said Sanam Khanna, professor of English at Kamla Nehru College.
Teachers added that undue pressure was being exercised by the examination branch to wrap up the correction process as soon as possible.
"We have got some letters from the examination branch, stating that we have to report for evaluation duty all seven days, including public holidays. As the examination is going on, our invigilation and evaluation duties are clashing. Our invigilation duties are also scattered through this period. Besides, we need to report for evaluation for all the papers that we teach," she added.
However, the university officials dismissed the matter, claiming that teachers were misinterpreting the directives. "The teachers are misinterpreting the notices sent to them. College duties and evaluation duties are very easily interchangeable and there is no pressure on them at all," said a senior Delhi University official.
While principals would be required to ensure that teachers teaching in their respective colleges unfailingly appear for invigilation as well as evaluation, officials said, they said it was being done to ensure that results could be declared soon.
"The basic idea is to declare the results of this semester before the next semester begins. That happens only with cooperation. The results must be declared on time and we must keep the interest of students in mind. These duties can be interchanged between teachers easily," said Praduman Kumar, principal, Hindu College.
Teachers are sceptical about the fact that the alleged lack of flexibility might take a toll on their health and productivity. Some of them also asserted that while the evaluation process was largely mathematical, the lack of examiners to mark answer sheets would wreak havoc on students’ performance.
“I teach Sociology, but I have been asked to evaluate an Economics paper. May be that is an error, but if it is so then assessment becomes extremely difficult,” said a teacher of reputed college, requesting not to be named.