University of Delhi (DU) held a training programme on 13th July 2018 for principals, teachers, and time-table convenors.
The teachers of the University of Delhi have been asked to mark attendance in ‘real time’ digitally, as opposed to the practice of marking it after classes get over. Presently, the marking of attendance in Delhi University is done manually on registers, and is updated digitally at the end of the month. Following the commencement of the new academic semester, the above mentioned system might be re-vamped into a more modern arrangement. The new system in-talks in the varsity is set up through the university intranet, however the teachers are concerned about days when a certain class is conducted outside the classroom or adjusted for some other day, as often times the lectures do get cancelled or rescheduled.
This development comes to us post a training programme being conducted by the Computer Centre of Delhi University for the introduction of the Attendance Management System (AMS) for colleges. The workshop witnessed principals, time-table convenors and in-charges in attendance.
A time-table convenor told The Indian Express, “We were told that this system has been prepared entirely by the university. As per my understanding, the teacher has to take his/her attendance online in the class and the system will only work in the campus.” The colleges were told that for now, it was not “mandatory”. But looking at their presentation, it seemed like it can be introduced anytime this year,”
A time-table convenor on the condition of anonymity told the DU Beat correspondent in a telephonic conversation that, “The system does not seem flexible and accommodating towards the way the lectures are actually conducted in the colleges.
The AMS system was implemented last year on a pilot basis in four colleges and the Delhi School of Journalism. The efforts to digitise attendance will be prioritised and expanded within more colleges of the University.
Attendance has always been a concern for the students of DU, and has often created contention between the student body and the college administrations due to the fact that many students are detained from examinations if they do not match the 66% attendance criteria. This year, many students of Miranda House, Faculty of Law, and Aryabhatta College were detained, which led to severe displays of protests from the students of the mentioned colleges. Law students even took the university to the court after they were detained for not having enough attendance.
Certain teachers allege that the AMS system is just a way to monitor the teachers attendance as opposed to the students. They claim that this initiative that is being branded as a “positive reform” for the students, is actually just a way to keep tabs on the teachers of the University. They also raised their concerns over how the AMS will come into practice when they take their students out for educational trips to libraries and historical sites in their lectures.
The Vice Chancellor of DU, Professor Yogesh Tyagi told the Times of India, “In order to bring transparency and primarily help students keep a track of their attendance, this system is being planned so that students don’t fall short of attendance.”