With approximately 1.5 lac students enrolling every year in the various courses provided by the University, Delhi University’s School of Open Learning (SOL) aims to offer correspondence courses with no mandatory attendance against the regular courses of the University. 

The continual shortage of classrooms, faculties, and other facilities has continued to hinder the progress of the University and its students. Only recently, after switching to the semester mode of education, SOL is set to conduct all classes on Saturdays as well.

Despite three weeks since the inception of this academic session, the administration has only been able to carry sixty percent of the total classes, as opposed to previous years, where the turnout corresponded to only 10-20% of students, the number exceeded to about 30-40% in 2019, making the situation difficult for the administration, as claimed by Professor Ramesh Bhardwaj, Officer on Special Duty in SOL.

Professor Bhardwaj further quoted that the shift in the system from an annual mode to a semester mode has contribued to the problems all the more. Where the annual mode classes would have begun in October or November, the new semester mode, adopted by the SOL has pushed the timeline much forward than planned, for the first-time the students of the SOL will be studying under the Choice-Based Credit System (CBCS), which will bring their courses on par with regular curriculum.

However, right from the start of the course, regular protests are being held by members of KYS, and other student organisations, expressing their grievance against the authorities in different parts of the University. Classes are being cancelled regularly and many times at the last minute, causing wastage of student’s time & energy. 

“We don’t mind the CBCS system being implemented, but they [administration] are clearly not prepared for it,” says Aarti Khush Wahab, a first-year student at SOL. 

The administration has further announced the dates for the examination to be in the first week of November, what with the inconsistent classes and inadequate study material, worsening the situation for the students. 

In response to issues mentioned above, the administration plans to hold classes in double shifts, Professor Bhardwaj said. Currently there are about 30 centres alloted to SOL for holding classes, the administration requires 70 more in near future. The step seems promising but its effectiveness seems to be a big question. 

Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Faizan Salik

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