After protests by School of Open Learning (SOL) students against cancelled classes and lack of study material, The Delhi High Court (HC) orders a stay on semester exams scheduled in December for SOL students.
SOL had decided to implement the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) from the academic session 2019-20. This change meant that SOL would move into the system which other Delhi University (DU) colleges follow, with exams at the end of every semester instead of annual exams. The hasty and ill-implemented nature of this decision led to several problems such as lack of study material, incomplete syllabus in most honours courses, and cancelled classes.
The initiative which may have been well-intended, was poorly implemented. On 17th November 2019, SOL students came out to protest against the Vice Chancellor (VC) for the same. The protest was in the form of a funeral march for the VC. They had also held a protest outside the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) where they had tonsured their hair and sent it to the Union HRD minister, Delhi Education Minister, UGC, DU, and SOL authorities as a symbolic representation of how they had been orphaned by the authorities.
On 5th November, four student activists had moved the court regarding this matter and their plea was accepted by the Delhi HC. The HC has ordered a stay on the December examinations in SOL by the University. The University will now hold both semester examinations at the end of the second semester, much like the method that was followed in SOL before the implementation of CBCS this academic session.
The students in a statement reported by the Times of India said, “Delhi High Court took DU on all the irregularities and violations evident in the manner in which CBCS has been implemented. Apart from pushing back of November-December exams, the University has to report to an annual nodal officer on the preparations made for the smooth running of the CBCS program in SOL.”
However, SOL director CS Dubey said that the University gave suggestions to the courts. A senior official goes on to say, “If IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) conducts exams of two semesters together, so can we. We have tried our best to make sure that SOL students should be at par with regular students. But some organisations wanted to disrupt that. There are many students who still want to give the exam in December this year.” They point out that exams in December would mean that will have to burden their resources, as different papers will have to be prepared and the number of days extended.
(With excerpts from the Times Of India)
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives
Prabhanu Kumar Das