Confusion over NEP: Colleges raise red flag, LU VC claims no complaint so far
The LU introduced NEP-2020 from 2021 session. It mandates introduction of semester system at the undergraduate level along with co-curricular and additional vocational courses
The Lucknow University (LU) may have become the first university in the country to introduce National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 but students and teachers of the university and particularly of affiliated degree colleges are facing problems to cope with the new changes for want of course material and unavailability of books in the market.
The LU introduced NEP-2020 from 2021 session. It mandates introduction of semester system at the undergraduate level along with co-curricular and additional vocational courses. It offers multiple options to students that has left both teachers and students puzzled as to where to look for course material as this is a new introduction in the syllabus.
Avadh Girls PG College principal prof Bina Rai said, “Courses are quite broad and there are no prescribed books available. The university has given syllabus and has not mentioned books. We are struggling to run all the courses as we have shortage of teachers. Major and minor subjects are compounding problems.”
Situation is no brother either at Kali Charan PG College. Principal Prof Chandra Mohan Upadhyay said, “At undergraduate level, co-curricular courses like environment and sustainable development, leadership, communicating English, Yoga and Vedic mathematics have been recommended as an integrated part of odd semester. For these, we need special mentors who are well versed with these subjects because only they can hone the skills of students. Otherwise it will just remain an exercise to be fulfilled.”
“The most pressing problem that aided colleges are confronting is in the field of vocational education which has been incorporated in even semester. We lack resources, infrastructure and teachers. Therefore in order to achieve the real objective of NEP, we need to be more serious,” he said.
Manish Hindvi, associate professor of economics at Vidyant Hindu Degree College said, “There is no infrastructure available to handle such multiple options made available to students especially in aided colleges that have limited teachers. There is no clarity on the syllabus either. We are trying our best to address the problem.”
Amit Rai, assistant professor of history at Shia PG College, said, “The college has 3 history teachers for UG course and total 600 students including all three years. NEP semester mandates for assignment and mid-term exam including viva. If viva voce is carried out systematically, it will require at least good one month to complete the task. It means teacher will run out of time to complete the course.”
“NEP allows students to select any topics under co curricular or vocational courses. With no extra teachers available, it puts burden on the regular teachers who are limited in numbers. This is a major problem. Vocational course mandates for training of students and unavailability of course material is adding to the problem,” Rai added.
LU Associated College Teachers’ Association president Manoj Pandey said, “New education policy should be scrapped. Until syllabus is not finalised, it should not be rolled out. Minor and major subjects are a problem.” Not just teachers, even students are finding it difficult to understand this whole concept of major and minor subjects that has been made a part of their curriculum.
Akshat Singh, a final year UG student said, “It is quite confusing for students and teachers are also clueless as it is for the first time they have come across this situation.” On the other hand, LU vice chancellor Prof Alok Kumar Rai said, “Co-curricular exists in odd and vocation in even semester meant only for first, second, third and fourth semester students. Students of fifth and sixth semesters are not required to study these.”
“Co-curricular is not a subject. By design, it helps you develop as an individual. NEP says practise yoga and not study it. Develop a habit of gardening or practising yoga and going beyond the boundaries of the book,” he added.
“Vocational courses are meant for skill development process. It has subjects like general computer, fashion designing and communication skills. It is being taught in one form or the other. Books are available in market. I may understand that smaller colleges may have some issues but they will have to manage,” Rai added.
“So far, students have not complained yet about colleges not offering co curricular or vocation of their choice. In first year of NEP (2021-22), we had 9 co-curricular and 11 vocational course and now in 2022-23, we have offered 23 co-curricular and 27 vocational courses to accommodate specific requirements of the region and students,” the VC said.