It was bitter realization for Delhi University administration on Wednesday, 16th February, when over 1,000 students from across colleges and departments expressed their concern over absentee teachers. The students also raised the problem of inadequate infrastructure and security for women students. According to officials, the university administration received over 1,200 feedback forms of which nearly 1,000 raised the issues of absenteeism among teachers and inadequate infrastructure.
On 31st January, Vice-Chancellor Dr. Dinesh Singh had had an interaction with students of most DU colleges, a first in the history of the University, where he had requested the students to fill up a feedback form each. In the meeting too, students posed tough questions to the VC on absentee teachers, lack of basic amenities and security.
Students’ Union president of IP College, Nikita, has been quoted as saying, “Because of teachers’ strikes the academic calendar has gone haywire and the syllabi are later completed in a rush, making students suffer. What is the University doing?”
In the feedback forms, the students complained about how the class work was completely disrupted due to teachers’ non-cooperation as well as the abysmally poor infrastructure in many colleges. They explained in detail how everything right from the classrooms to libraries to laboratories was lacking proper infrastructure. Laboratories in several colleges are still under construction, at a time when the final practical exams are drawing close.
“The university did receive feedback forms in which students raised concerns over absenteeism, inadequate infrastructure and security for girls. This is a learning experience for the administration and at least we have initiated a process of dialogue. I met over a 1,000 teachers as well thereafter and I feel follow-up dialogues will help address most of the concerns,” said Prof. Singh about the issue.
Several Principals, during their scheduled three-day meet with the VC, have also apprised him of similar problems. In fact, disruption of the academic schedule was the focus on the second day of the meeting on Tuesday, 15th February, when Prof. Singh interacted with Principals of west Delhi colleges. The VC then met the principals of South Delhi colleges on Thursday, 17th February.
Principal of Kirori Mal College, Prof. Bhim Sen Singh, went on record to say, “The administration is serious about restoring the academic atmosphere in the university. In the recent past there was a complete breakdown of communication between teachers and the administration due to the rife over the implementation of the semester system. It also sent a wrong message to the world outside. We see things settling down and the new VC is trying for amicable solutions, I believe things will be better here on. After all, all stakeholders should think of students’ welfare first.”