DUB Speak

Of great marks and bleak futures

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Results are possibly the most unnerving concept in a student’s life. As the fresh batch of Delhi University students awaited their results, many believed that like the first batch of the semester system saw an exponential hike in marks in their first university exam, this new batch would undergo a similar fate. Another effort by the University to show us all how right they were to introduce the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), and how all the dharnas, strikes, protest marches against the FYUP were completely baseless. And as luck would have it, they were not proven wrong. Scores touched the sky, and many of those who didn’t even write the papers got 50% marks.

As someone who believes very firmly that marks are no measure of a person’s caliber, intellect and heart, my problems with the generous marking is that our administration needs to justify its bad decisions. Proven eloquently by many, and multiple times, it is not something that can be solved by being stingy and ruthless, but possibly by some introspection that University officials, teachers, students and even the HRD ministry could all benefit from.

Simply put, it’s not so much about the marks as it is about the intentions. Intentions to make an entire batch of the student community silent, content with the half baked knowledge they’re gaining about subjects that don’t interest them and are poorly structured; intentions to silence all teachers who have been courageously speaking out against the ruin of the University, sometimes even risking their jobs; intentions to give the fore bearers of the FYUP a pat on the back for having achieved what the University has never achieved before – sky high marks, leading to polished CVs, which in turn, lead to the biggest argument made for the FYUP – ‘employability’.

Assuming this employability will actually exist, what would it be worth if it means employing someone whose result sheet speaks far more than the concepts they learnt? Or if it comes at the cost of being made to study a subject you have absolutely no interest in? Would this employability be worth an unhappy four years, made tolerable by marks one probably doesn’t deserve, making those who deserve these scores feel mediocre? Isn’t the price we’re paying for this (assumed) employability far too high?

Having learnt so much from Delhi University, I’m writing this in the hope that the FYUP doesn’t take this learning away from those who’ve just made the transition from school to college – a transition that isn’t easy, to say the least. And to top that, when all your dreams of studying and learning what you really want to, studying it well, having the time to soak the concepts into your mind, body and heart (which would be far more ‘integrated’ without the FYUP!) are shattered, only to console you with marks that you didn’t expect, the University becomes a mere sham. I hope these scores don’t silence us, and I hope we continue to stand up for learning, education and character.

Bani’s love for books, people, travel and writing defines who she is and everything she does. An idealist at heart and a student of political science, she wishes to accomplish some fantastic journalistic work in her lifetime.

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