DUB News

DTF Criticises 8 AM to 8 PM Workday Guidelines Issued by DU

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

The notification released by DU to issue guidelines to keep colleges and departments open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on working days has drawn criticism from teachers and students across the University, the latest of which included a press release issued by the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF). It is feared that the inadequate infrastructure to implement such guidelines will exert additional stress on the faculty and students and lead to administrative problems.

On May 4, 2023, Delhi University (DU) issued guidelines to inform all colleges and departments to keep their classrooms and laboratories open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on all working days and to take appropriate measures to ensure “optimum utilisation of resources”. The guidelines received criticism from the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), which condemned the “irrational” order.

In the statement released by DTF on May 8, 2023, the organisation criticised the implementation of the 12-hour, 6-day week without consulting the Academic Council and the Executive Council on the feasibility of the guidelines. The press release also discussed whether the infrastructure facilities of colleges and departments are adequate to sustain a 12-hour work week. Additionally, it raised objections on behalf of cluster colleges and the commute time students require to move from one college to another.

Most university departments and colleges do not have adequate resources to sustain 12 working hours 6 days a week. There will be acute shortage of teaching and non-teaching staff if classrooms and laboratory facilities are kept open from 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM. This move seems to be a means to subvert the UGC norms about the weekly work provisions of teachers. Consequently, this will increase the stress levels of teachers and students and result in setbacks to academic outcomes.

– DTF Press Release dated May 8, 2023

The statement also mentioned the inadequate human resources available to execute the guidelines. They alleged that authorities are unwilling to equip the teaching and non-teaching staff to proportionally accommodate the 12-hour timings. Concerns of administrative efficiency have been raised in particular reference to colleges that hold both evening and morning shifts.

To implement this irrational order either more (teaching and non-teaching) staf need to be provided which the Delhi University administration and the Union Government of India are patently unwilling to do. Or they expect the work duration of teaching and non-teaching staff to exceed what is warranted by labour laws which would be patently illegal. Or they expect the same number of teaching and non-teaching staff to handle the longer hours which would necessarily reduce the quality of academic outcome.

– DTF Press Release dated May 8, 2023

The guidelines were implemented to ensure the “optimum utilisation of resources” and extend benefits to students and researchers. However, DTF questioned the rationality behind such a decision, as the holistic development of students cannot happen under the magnified stress of academics. The question of security also arises with the implementation of such late-night classes.

Getting trapped in the 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM classroom schedule will affect the academic and overall development of students adversely. Such late-hour classes would imply that they will return to their homes at even later hours. This raises significant security concerns, especially for female students and staff.”

DTF Press Release dated May 8, 2023

Students have also raised objections regarding the feasibility of such strenuous guidelines. The implementation of these guidelines will cause stress and anxiety among students who are already under the burden of their academic pressures.

The first-year students already have to attend Saturday classes. The New Education Policy (NEP) is demanding as it is, and students and faculty have just started to come to terms with such a foreign academic curriculum. Suddenly, with the 12-hour workweek guidelines, it feels like we can’t escape this academic maze. We’re perpetually drowning in academic work, and now it feels like it’s a luxury to even expect an 8-hour workday.”

– first-year student at Gargi College

Read also: DU and its All-Pervading Issue of Inadequate Infrastructure

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat

Sri Sidhvi Dindi
[email protected]

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

Comments are closed.