The Delhi University Teachers’ Association staged a protest in LSR today. They were protesting against the idea of establishing a Meta University floated by the VC, and of a four-year undergraduate programme, through the media, without placing the proposal before the Academic and Executive Councils for proper evaluation of the desirability or feasibility of such policy changes. Teachers from various DU colleges gathered outside the college cafeteria handing out pamphlets to get the support of students.
While the teachers are still upset over the recently introduced semester system and its effects on students as well as teachers, they feel this new proposal is despotic and undemocratic.
In their written appeal to students, DUTA says that, “The experience of semesterized courses in the last one and a half years has confirmed our worst fears about severe academic dilution and adverse effect on teaching processes. Teachers are being forced to instruct students through modules that do not allow the time to engage with different levels of competence of different students, nor do these modules allow teachers to communicate a sense of fundamentals and depth of any academic discipline. To cloak the disastrous impact of semesterisation on the performance of students, the DU administration has resorted to irrational inflation of marks which has put a question mark on the credibility of our results which will result in devaluing our degree.”
Teachers already had been feeling undervalued as their opinions and protests were not taken into consideration during the finalizing of the University’s decision to semesterize undergraduate courses. According to Ms. Vijaya Venkatraman, who teaches Spanish at the GRS faculty of arts, “The semesterisation process saw the abolishment of democratic functioning in DU. DUTA protested but no one paid heed, and just as we had feared, semester system led to simplification of exams and inflation of marks. Our second year students are worried that they wont be able to survive the competition in the job sector, which is like a blot on our reputation. The VC has decided to add this sudden ‘grandeur’ to the University without even taking the collective opinion of teachers. We, as professionals, are sad that we can no longer operate our teaching the way we want to, which is why we want students on get on board with us for our cause.”
The teachers’ collective is demanding expansion of Government funding in higher education to meet the growing demand for the same. It is also resisting large-scale commercialization of higher education, as they believe that the role of education is to strengthen social and national integration of the country.
You can read DUTA’s charter of demands at: http://gaurnaveen.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/draft_charter-of-demands.pdf