Coronavirus

Dear Academic Calendar, Please Have Mercy

With the pandemic disrupting life around the globe, education faced a severe hit along with all other spheres of society. Unlike other universities, Delhi University’s academic calendar started months after most universities in the country started. But how does this impact life in the varsity?

Delhi University formally commenced the academic session for first-year undergraduate students on 18 November 2020. This was after the delay of almost five months, partly due to the non-declaration of the 12th Board results and partly due to a conscious management decision. Formally, kicking off the admissions in October with the first cut-off list, things have been hectic at the varsity. 

The current academic calendar for the first-year is segregated into two parts: November to March and April to July. On paper, this leaves around three months for teaching including the conduct of Internal Assessments. What the varsity failed to consider was the length of the admission process itself. The final date for admissions kept getting pushed and finally came to an end on the 31st December 2020. To get things into perspective that is one and half months of a four-month semester. Interestingly, admissions under all supernumerary categories took place only in December. The loss of academics is to be in some way considered negligible and ignored.

Even if that was to be excused, the calendar is tormenting and tiring. The University scraped off all vacations and holidays except ‘Public Holidays’ which some colleges refuse to recognise as well. Continuous classes, six days a week is draining. Moreover, the varsity doesn’t factor in how this pans out with college societies and extra-curricular culture. Even societies due to the sheer lack of time- pushed and compressed activities, and doubled the workload. There is no time whatsoever to self or any other activity. And before someone plays devil’s advocate to give the argument of time mismanagement, I already plead guilty, but it still doesn’t change that the calendar is suffocating and inhumane.

Another peculiar feature is the mismatch of the first-year calendar with all other years. So while the first-years panic about exams, one might perceive that the seniors are enjoying the prime of their life in the middle of their semester. A role reversal will soon debut in May as well. This incongruence is very likely to affect societies too, especially in colleges that follow the two-year society system. 

This makes things quite cumbersome and toxic as the teachers unload magnanimous hours of syllabus per lecture and the students grapple to keep up. Before someone hurls “Even they couldn’t have done anything,” well they sure could have. The Delhi Technical University, more popularly DTU opted for a continuous evaluation system. The likelihood of you reading another one of these pieces with me cribbing about the system is equal, but that way I would’ve learnt much more than I am doing right now. With OBEs and practically no time to study, things seem beyond repair. 

Dear Academic Calendar, please have mercy.

Read also: https://dubeat.com/2020/12/freshers-guide-to-online-examinations-obe-2-0/

Image Credits: Indian Express

Mehul Joshi

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