Delhi University’s Executive Council Thursday approved the first semester syllabi of the various programmes which form the four-year Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) to be introduced from the 2022-2023 academic year.
Registrar Vikas Gupta confirmed that the Executive Council passed the UGCF courses which had been approved by the Academic Council earlier this month.
Even as the university’s highest statutory body has given the final go-ahead to the syllabi to be implemented in the upcoming semester, teacher representatives continued to voice their concerns regarding it.
Elected Executive Council members Seema Das and Rajpal Singh Pawar submitted a note during the meeting’s Zero Hour laying down their concerns on the UGCF, primarily opposing it on the grounds of decrease in workload for teachers.
“Reduction of overall credit from 196 to 176 in four years and 148 to 132 in three years would lead to a significant decrease in the workload. Reducing the credits of Discipline Specific Core, Discipline Specific Elective, and General Elective papers from six to four and that of Ability Enhancement Courses, Skill Enhancement Courses from four to two will reduce the workload upto 50%, implying a loss of corresponding hours of teaching, thereby causing a reduction in the workload and displacement of the teachers. It further leads to the dilution of the syllabus contents, hence, the academic rigour. However, in some courses like Economics ,UGCF syllabus is the same as the CBCS/LOCF (the university’s existing curriculum structure) but credit is less. Less teaching hours to complete the same syllabus has all the potential to create a new state of conflict between teacher and student, adversely affecting the teaching and learning process,” states their note.
They also emphasised the specific reduction in the workload in the English department in the new structure, something that English teachers have been voicing concerns about over the past few months.
The Democratic Teachers’ Front issued a statement Thursday, criticising the move to admit students after approving the syllabi for only one semester.
“It is the right of the students to know the coursework, syllabi and evaluation scheme before they take admission… To adopt courses and admit students based on syllabi of first semester papers is extremely unacademic. It is only when all the framework, coursework, syllabi and scheme of evaluation are known, that the value of the degree can be understood. All UG courses listed under agenda item 4-1 are incomplete and admissions against these courses should not be offered on this count,” read their statement which also stated that there is a common feeling among teachers that the decrease in the credits for papers is resulting in dilution of the core disciplines.
The elected EC members also submitted a dissent note against the agenda item to consider the Academic Council’s recommendation that the Vice-Chancellor be authorised to “make suitable modification/ addition in these syllabi and to frame the guidelines for mode of instruction/ assessment and examination.” However, this recommendation was approved by the Council.