The Democratic Teachers’ Front comes forward with criticism and highlights hasty decision-making with regard to the implementation of Integrated Teacher Education Programme by the DU Academic Council.

A press conference was organised on 24th May 2023 at the Press Club by the Democratic Teachers’ Front to highlight concerns and discuss the impact of Integrated Teacher Education Programme (ITEP) by the varsity. This conference comes ahead of the Delhi University Academic Council’s meeting to be held on Friday, 26th May 2023 regarding the implementation of ITEP.

ITEP is a flagship four-year “dual-major holistic undergraduate degree” of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) under NEP 2020. ITEP will be replacing DU’s Bachelor of Elementary Education (B.El.Ed) programme which was introduced in 1994. Currently, only eight colleges offer this programme which is unique to the varsity – Shyama Prasad Mukherji College for Women, Jesus and Mary College, Mata Sundari College, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Gargi College, Miranda House, Institute of Home Economics, and Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Out of these, the former three institutions have been granted permission by NCTE to offer ITEP in the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. Admissions to the same will be done through an entrance exam conducted by NTA instead of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET).

The design of the ITEP is based on the design of teacher preparation stated in the NEP 2020. It combines rigorous educational understanding, disciplinary depth and a strong focus on school practice while taking into account existing ground realities.

Reads the Agenda for the Academic Council’s meeting.

This proposal has met scathing criticism from educators who question the legitimacy, lack of syllabus and hasty decision making behind the programme. Key addressors at the press conference included Prof. Poonam Batra (former Faculty member, CIE, DU), Prof Anita Rampal (former Dean Faculty of Education, CIE, DU) and faculties from the eight colleges currently offering B.El.Ed.

The ITEP differs from the existing programme in two key areas – minimum Faculty qualification and programme structure. Teacher groups have alleged that the B.El.Ed is ‘internationally-recognised’ and ‘has successfully trained close to 10,000 teachers’. The ITEP curriculum on the other hand will follow three years of general education followed by one year of rigorous professional training. Educators have also come forward with criticism about the declining qualification standards for teaching the new programme.

This dilution of faculty qualification and a standardised homogenised curriculum indicates a deep dilution of the standards required to prepare school teachers. A common curriculum to educate teachers across diverse cultures, communities and languages of India will not prepare them to teach in diverse classrooms and hence will make them ineffective.

– Dr. S.Ram, a teacher at Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi.

Questions have also been raised on the impact of this programme on the ongoing ad-hoc crisis and other temporary faculty in the varsity. With strict NCTE norms about the curriculum and exit options, the University’s autonomy about such decisions also comes under fire.

Closing down a well reputed programme such as the BElEd is not only illegal, it is also, academically and professionally irrational. The University should come clear on why it is coercing colleges to replace the BElEd with ITEP?

– reads the Official Press Release of DTF dated 24th May 2023.

Several independent educators and other teacher groups, both within Delhi University and outside have come forward with their disapproval of the programme.

By comparison with the B.El.Ed. program at Delhi University, ITEP thus represents a significant dumbing down. It reflects a conception of the teacher as a mere conduit for delivering pre-approved subject content, rather than as a socially responsible and autonomous professional capable of interpreting and adapting the curriculum and inspiring her pupils.

– a letter addressed to DU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Yogesh Singh by Edward Vickers, UNESCO chair professor on Education for Peace, Social Justice and Global Citizenship, Kyushu University, Japan dated 25th May 2023.


Read Also –https://dubeat.com/2023/05/15/du-scraps-existing-be-el-ed-programme/

Featured Image Credits – DTF

 Bhavya Nayak

[email protected]

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]

With the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) winning the recently held Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) elections four times in a row, we got an opportunity to have a tête-à-tête with the winning Presidential Candidate Rajib Ray from the Department of Philosophy in Kirori Mal College. Raising legit demands of ad-hoc teacher regularisation, the greater pay scale for the teachers under the 7th pay commission and putting up a tough fight against privatisation of education, DUTA is vital for the functioning of the University of Delhi which comes under the top central universities of India.

Here are the excerpts:

In your manifesto, the major demands raised by the DTF this year involved the resolution of anomalies of the last pay scale, promotion of teachers, and due placement and payment to ad- hoc teachers in DU. How does your Front after coming to power hope to achieve this and through what means?

Ours is not a party, but a Front and the moment you associate the notion of ‘power’ to a union, my conception of an ‘association’ is completely different. So, firstly, I would like to mention that it’s a historic win for any group to have won four consecutive times in a row. All the issues that are happening since a long time and the future is yet to be achieved. Last year the government came up with a Third Amendment which was to reduce the number of teachers at the departments and we led a huge movement in the summer forcing the government to roll back the amendment. The authorities then came up with the Fourth Amendment to which we are still against, but it is definitely better than the previous one.

As far as the appointments are concerned, under the monitoring of the Delhi High Court after our immense efforts concerning the Law Faculty Case, the appointment procedure in the departments have already started and I hope, that without any delay, further processes of appointments shall commence in the various colleges. The recent speech made by our Hon’ Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, on the new education policy with respect to promotions of teachers, ‘hire and fire’, etc. and seeing the trend of autonomy being given to colleges, it is very disappointing not only for the students but also very bad for the morale of teachers as DU treads upon the path of self-financing courses and reduced public spending.

What major problems can autonomy and steps leading to privatisation have on students’ lives in DU?

Firstly, the pattern of making colleges autonomous in DU is not a new one, but what we need to realise is the brazen manner in which it is being done. The moment the motion for autonomous colleges passes, the college has to get 30 percent of resources on its own. The question is ‘from where’. The colleges will get it from increasing the fees of students despite opening up of new courses and will have to pay the salary of the faculty through the self- financing courses that can lead to lesser salaries of employees. This method is not only lopsided but will also affect the teachers’ morale. The way to get out of this is to sensitise students and teachers in the public realm about the ill effects of autonomy and privatisation, and can vouch for a huge political pressure on the government. This is similar to the way it happened in the case of FYUP roll back with the help of media. So, the solution is to make it a matter of public debate.

Do you believe that the intense regularisation of higher education by multiple regulators like University Grants Commission (UGC), National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), etc. can help central, deemed, and state universities to improve their performances as we have already seen, that lesser regulation in the case of IITs/IIMs has made them enter the top 200 rankings of the world?

First of all, these rankings that you mention are very subjective and there is the whole nexus of foreign universities that are embedded in these rankings. Also, who decides the world rankings is a matter of debate and on what grounds?  The most important help all sorts of universities need is funding and no such cuts in funding should ever happen. Also, the NAAC rankings are there only to judge the criterion of funding to be provided. Public funded institutions must serve the students well and the recent demographic changes in DU students for the past decade show that students from the lower strata are also coming to DU and for them, funding by such regulators is very important. And with a recent Supreme Court ruling, all regulations are mandatory but what’s happening now is changes are occurring in the university without consulting the ‘LAW Book’. So, arbitrary regulation should be controlled. Also, the case for recently opened Delhi School of Journalism, be it self-financing or not, will depend more on the type of courses it plans to offer and the fee structure for the students as well as the availability of permanent faculty and not visiting lecturers.

How do you plan to revoke the problems caused by Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS) and evil effects of the semester system which now seem to be very much institutionalised in the system?

The major problem is there is no choice being offered to students under CBCS, in terms of courses and subjects due to the unavailability of faculty, lack of infrastructure, and lack of payments to be made to teachers. So, we need more faculty and need to build a number of colleges, which is a long way to travel.

What could be done to improve the student-teacher ratio in DU?

At present in DU, it is 1/50 and we want to improve it further. But, normally in such discussions, our main focus is primarily on the regular students and we tend to ignore or isolate the students of School of Open Learning where the ratio is almost twice. So, immediate steps should be taken by the management for its betterment and what is needed is more number of colleges and placement and promotion of teachers. Also for the promotion of teachers, we need to revise the criteria upon which the teachers are judged; for example, if you are asked  in an interview in 2013 to do something since 2008, it’s a bit unfair as you were not made aware of such guidelines in 2008 and thus on such basis, you are rejected in 2013 interview. That is what is happening to our teachers at DU.

What message do you want to give to students for the upcoming DUSU elections being the DUTA President? Also, are you able to draw any parallels between DUSU and DUTA?

Regardless of my affiliations, I won’t promote any particular student wing here, but what I want is a free and fair election which is the true essence of a democracy. I am appalled at the increasing use of muscle and money power in DUSU elections.

As far as DUTA is concerned, there is not much use of muscle and money power the way it happens in DUSU. Only various student and teacher groups are involved in our elections. Also, there is a huge interference of the state machinery in the conduct of DUSU which is not the case in DUTA.

Finally, what will be your immediate plan of action after coming to power?

We will start our public sensitising programmes in order to make the students and teachers aware of the bad effects of privatisation of education and approach all levels including MHRD, state, and administration of DU. Our plan is to not bend under pressure of any Vice Chancellor or the authorities. We want to make our universities free and restore their ability to question and debate as well as protect it from all outside forces.

Image Credits: The Hindu


Oorja Tapan

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On Thursday, the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) conducted its elections for the post of President and fifteen Executive Committee members. Rajib Ray, a professor of Philosophy from Kirori Mal College and the leftist Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), was named the President of DUTA on Friday morning by scoring 2636 votes.

The elections were held in Arts Faculty, North Campus. Teachers from colleges across Delhi came to cast their votes from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday evening. This year, the voter turnout was massive as it amassed to an estimate of 7,200 members.

Rajib Ray told The Hindu, “We are looking forward to fighting against the failures of the government and other authorities. Timely disbursement of pension and setting up of a review committee are our top priorities.”

In his manifesto, Ray questioned the prevalent education policies and raised important issues such as those of privatisation and autonomy of DU colleges. He said “Education policy is currently being dictated by the NITI Aayog, whose CEO recently proclaimed that the government should “hand over schools, colleges, jails to the private sector”. Its Draft Action Plan is being pushed through various UGC Regulations. The Draft on Graded Autonomy defines three categories of universities based on NAAC scores and NIRF rank.” He even criticised the DU administration by saying that “The DU administration has been deaf to the denial of promotion to thousands of teachers and forced them to go to the Court. It has surrendered to the Ministry of Human Resources Development directive to appeal against the positive Court order on pensions.”

His main motto is to defend public education. With such a win, a lot is expected from his tenure as the new President of DUTA.


Feature Image Credits: Democratic Teachers’ Front

Bhavya Banerjee
[email protected]