The University of Delhi issued a notification on January 25, 2024, outlining the formation of a committee to develop a mechanism that addresses the issue of “classes not being taken by teachers.”
The five-member committee will be comprised of principals of different DU colleges and will look into the issue of classes not being attended by professors and submit a report to the administration by February 25, 2024.
The competent authority of the University of Delhi has constituted the following committee to develop mechanisms to address the concern that classes being not taken the teachers,
– read the issued University notification.
The notification has received considerable flak from the teacher community. On the one hand, several teacher associations alleged the notification on the grounds that the delay in hiring guest faculty and discontinuation of ad hoc appointments has led to classes going unattended, while the Democratic Teachers’ Front asserts it to be “farcical” and “objectionable.”
They questioned the University’s coursework, which includes “meaningless” VAC (Value Added Courses) and SEC (Skill Enhancement Courses) which have made students lose interest in the faculty’s absence. The statement issued by the Democratic Teacher’s Front alleged,
A university which has destroyed its human resource and diluted academic programs is now questioning teachers! We fear that the aim of this exercise is to devise ways of targeting dissenting voices.
Moreover, they claimed that these classes are often conducted in extended four-hour stretches, requiring students to navigate across different colleges for attendance. The flak also extends to the lack of discipline domains for these courses, causing teachers to instruct outside their domain of expertise.
The Democratic Teacher’s Front also claims that the issue lacks genuine intent to restructure and revitalise classroom environments for students and educators.
Dr. Maya John, member of the Academic Council, raised objections to the constitution of the committee owing to its composition, since it entails examination and reports solely by principals of various colleges and thus “smacks of authoritarianism and ill-intentions.”
The association also questions the allotment of grants to colleges for infrastructure and human resources, especially concerning the 25 percent increase in student intake due to EWS expansion.
Dr. John alleged that while the DU administration prefers thrusting a huge number of School of Open Learning (SOL) examination duties on regular colleges, many colleges do not have an adequate number of classrooms, obstructing the smooth and simultaneous conduct of a large number of such exams and regular teaching, leading to a sudden and abrupt switch to online classes.
Grievances were also voiced over the faulty scheduling of college programmes, where newly appointed teachers are compelled to attend midway, hindering the teaching-learning process. They also raised questions about the neutrality of educational institutions after the hosting of RSS-VHP officials at the University.
Featured Image Credits: DU Beat