Having generated enough debate before its implementation in Delhi University (DU),the four-year undergraduate programme remains a concern for teachers and students alike.
Colleges,grappling to make sense of the courses,are devising their own methods to teach them.
Apart from 11 compulsory foundation courses and discipline papers,students of the new four-year programme are required to study a paper called Integrating Mind,Body and Heart (IMBH),which primarily centres around Mahatma Gandhis life and teachings.
We have not been able to assign the task of teaching the paper to any particular department. We dont have a clear idea about what is expected out of the course. Right now,the focus is on the foundation courses. It was thought that the History and Political Science departments were best suited to teach the course. However,they are already burdened with the foundation courses, Rakesh Pandey,who teaches Physics at Kirorimal College,said.
At Sri Venkateswara College,respective departments are teaching the subject to their students. So,students of Physics are being taught about Gandhi by their Physics teachers. A template for these courses will make things easier, a teacher said.
According to college officials,work on a template for teaching these courses was under way.
At St Stephens College,principal Valson Thampu has decided to take all the IMBH classes,teaching a batch of 200 first-year students. Not many people were enthusiastic about the course. A course is what you make of it. Gandhi is seen as an illustration of the need to lead an integrated life, Thampu said.
I want to emphasise that the idea of integration is absolutely important in every aspect of life. Education is the building block of a total person,an integrated person who can serve society. I was greatly excited when the university came up with this course. The very goal of education is integration of mind,body and heart, he said.
While Thampu has taken it upon himself to teach the IMBH course,the foundation courses will be taught by senior teachers. There might be a tendency in the university to recruit junior teachers for the foundation courses. However,we have decided that senior teachers will take these courses, he said.
Lady Shri Ram College too has deputed experienced teachers for the foundation courses.
Across departments,the classes for foundation courses are being conducted by experienced teachers,not by ad hoc or guest teachers. Moreover,an orientation session was conducted for teachers of foundation courses and IMBH, Kanika Khandelwal,LSR spokesperson,said.