Despite all apprehensions and oppositions from the student and teacher community alike, Delhi University has gone ahead to introduce the four-year programme from the academic session 2013-2014. (Entire admissions 2013 coverage here) Spread over four semesters, Delhi University will offer 11 foundation courses that newly admitted students will be taught. As per the claims made by the University, the main purpose behind these courses is to encourage holistic personality development of a student who is well grounded to the realities the Indian Society is dealing with and every student will be required to clear these 11 papers irrespective of his stream. The foundation courses include:
- Language, Literature, and Creativity – I
- Language, Literature, and Creativity – II (English)
- Information Technology
- Business, Entrepreneurship, and Management
- Science and Life
- Indian History and Culture
- Building Mathematical Ability
- Applied Language Course – (any one course).
- Governance and Citizenship
- Philosophy, Psychology, Communication and Life Skills
- Geographic and Socio-Economic Diversity
- Environment and Public Health
These foundation courses aim to increase the interaction of teachers and students and promote a congenial environment to increase a students understanding of what is happening in the world as well as create basic digital literacy.
Since these courses are being introduced for the first time, DU is doing everything to ensure the smooth implementation of these courses. Another round of confusion has been around the question of who will teach these foundation courses. DU has made one thing clear, these courses will be taught by current university faculty who will first be trained to conduct these classes.
So far, the CPDHE, the training unit for Delhi University teachers, has conducted workshops and orientation programmes for 756 teachers in 7 Foundation courses during the last six weeks. The idea is to equip them to teach these courses in a manner that yields some tangible benefits for their students. Theses courses also aim to discourage rote learning and facilitate a high level of understanding through presentations, discussions and interactive sessions. Every college has nominated their faculty members and only the teachers who have received prior training will be entrusted with the task of teaching these courses. Hence, apparently this will result in college faculty teaching school level courses.
In an effort to make sense out of this entire exercise, a lot of teachers have questioned the need to introduce these courses that they feel should have been taken care of at the school level and that they undermine the importance of the specialised stream a student has opted for. To add to their pointlessness, these courses also jeopardise valuable classroom time that could have been used to study the core subject in detail. For instance, a student studying Political Science will not be able to appreciate the complexities of ‘science and life’ or ‘information technology’.
Yet, all said and done, only time will tell what the introduction of the 4 year program does for our education system and the country at large.
Image Credit: University of Delhi official website