Teachers divided over switch to four-year programme

DUTA has split vertically on decision to implement four-year UG programme from new session.

Written by Aditi Vatsa | New Delhi | Published:May 14, 2013 1:23 am

The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has split vertically on the decision to implement the four-year undergraduate programme from the new academic session starting July. The division,which has Left-leaning teachers on one side and the others in the opposite camp,comes days after the academic and executive councils showed the green light to the four-year format.

DUTA was denied permission on Sunday by Ramjas College to hold its special general body meeting (GBM) in the college auditorium.

DUTA president Amar Deo Sharma said after they were denied a venue for the meeting,the teachers collected on the college premises and resolutions from 32 college staff associations were read out.

“Majority of the resolutions rejected the four-year undergraduate programme. The DUTA general body passed unanimous resolutions against the four-year undergraduate programme and the Vice-Chancellor who has made slanderous comments against the teaching community,” Sharma said.

But teachers with affiliations to other political groups,including DUTA secretary S D Siddiqui,alleged that the convening of the GBM was “illegal” as a meeting of the DUTA executive was not called to discuss it. Alleging that the DUTA president was pursuing “his own political agenda”,Siddiqui said,“DUTA is diverting from core issues of filling up 4,000 vacant teaching posts,promotion of teachers and removal of anomalies in service conditions.”

Refuting these claims,Sharma said,“There is a provision in the DUTA constitution that gives the president the right to convene a meeting if 10 teachers give their requisitions. We received requests from 108 teachers to convene a meeting on the four-year undergraduate programme. A letter signed by the DUTA secretary and me had been sent to all college staff councils on the matter a few weeks ago.”

Apart from the opposition to the four-year undergraduate programme,the DUTA gathering also demanded the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.

Claiming that the four-year format was against the National Education Policy,the “meeting” passed a resolution listing implications of the new course. The resolution claimed that the new format would lead to rise in cost of education,legitimise dropouts through multiple exit points and said the course structure was “ill-designed”.

Meanwhile,the Delhi University began conducting orientation sessions called Open Days with students and parents. The first Open Day for the new academic session on Monday saw university officials addressing various admission queries.

J M Khurana,Dean,Students’ Welfare,said,“More than 1,500 aspiring students and their parents attended the programme. The admission process was explained and questions related to admission to various courses were addressed.” A presentation on the four-year undergraduate programme was made and was followed by a discussion.

“While we will have another such session on Tuesday,the frequency will increase as we move closer to the registration days,” Khurana said.

Questions raised by students revolved around the criteria for admissions,online and offline applications and the exit options in the four-year format.

“I am not very keen on studying 11 foundation papers. It seems as if most of them will be similar to the papers that we have studied in Class XII. But the session was quite helpful,and I plan to come again if I have further queries,” Bhavni Arora,a student,said.

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