DU has updated the Class Sizes for UG and PG courses. 60 for lectures, 30 for tutorials and 25 for practical, is what the statement reads. The notice has stirred a controversial commotion for the professors and students alike. Read ahead to find out more.
In a recent notice dated November 11, 2022, the University of Delhi released an order delineating the updated Class Sizes for both undergraduate and postgraduate lectures, tutorials, and practical. The notice carried the signature of the university’s registrar as well mandating its contents. 60 students for lectures, 30 for tutorials, and 25 for practical in an undergraduate classroom, whereas 50 students for lectures, 25 for tutorials, and 20 for practical in a postgraduate course is what the notification stated. Elucidating on the rationale behind this reform, the notice read, “to observe uniformity in the teacher-student ratio in all programmes being offered by the university and its colleges.”
Students and teachers are taken aback by the statement, as it completely obliterates the previously denoted Learning Outcome-Based Curriculum Framework (LOCF) coursework adopted by the Academic Council of the university in 2019, which specifically stated that the ideal size for a tutorial classroom is 8–10 students. Additionally, the previous LOCF also mentions that an undergraduate practical lab shall consist of 12 students. The numbers were defined based on the need for a reasonable teacher-student ratio that would help cater to the diverse needs and types of students.
A tutorial size of 30 students is a travesty. It completely undermines the very basis of having a tutorial system, both in terms of the academic and workload dimensions of the teaching and learning process.Democratic Teacher’s Front (DTF)
The DTF in a statement, issued by them soon after the notification’s release, also said, “if these workload norms are implemented, it will impact the quality of teaching and learning severely. It may also result in making many teachers surplus! These unacademic norms are unacceptable to teachers and students. These should be withdrawn immediately. It is incumbent on the teachers’ collective to protect the integrity of the teaching learning process.”
The various courses offered at the university have often devised their own set of departmental norms and rules when it comes to class sizes. For instance, in BSc (Hons) Physics, the syllabus specifically recommends that the maximum size of group for all Physics laboratory courses should be 12–15 students. For BA (Hons) Geography, it is mentioned that the size of the practical group will be no more than 15 students. For tutorials of BA (Hons) History, the class is divided up into smaller groups of eight to ten students who interact with the respective teacher once every week, is what the curriculum has stated.
The change has meant a bittersweet realization for both the students and professors, as it not only intensifies the responsibilities of the professors but also leaves little to no room for students to utilize their erstwhile reasonably sized tutorial periods effectively. When asked about the impact this decision can have on the students and the education they receive, a 2nd year student of Political Science scoffed and said, “The impact vala point is completeley out of the picture now. Let’s talk about something else.”
Featured Image Credits: Devesh for DU Beat