V-C interacts with students to allay fears over four-year course

The V-C also hinted at bringing about more changes in the marking scheme of the four-year undergraduate programme

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:August 15, 2013 5:49 am

Following concerns being raised by sections of teachers and students on the four-year undergraduate course,Delhi University Vice-Chancellor held an ‘interactive session’ with hundreds of teachers on Tuesday.

Emphasising the importance of hands-on training and trans-disciplinarity in the foundation courses under the four-year undergraduate programme,DU V-C Dinesh Singh said,“We are trying to introduce trans-disciplinary education,hands-on experience and connect them to some of the challenges India is facing.”

The V-C also hinted at bringing about more changes in the marking scheme of the four-year programme. A major part of the grading is going to take place within the classroom,he added.

He also stressed the need for introducing dual language teaching in classrooms. On the problems with the foundation course books published recently,Singh added,“I haven’t seen a single mathematics book written by great mathematicians that do not have errors.”

The session also saw the VC demonstrating how the foundation courses can be taught. Students in three colleges — Indraprastha College,Hindu College and Miranda House — had tuned into the session at the university stadium complex through video-conferencing.

Another point made by the V-C was the change in the method of teaching — from blackboard teaching to project-based teaching. “It will be rewarding both for teachers and students,” he said.

Teachers and students hold protest

While the V-C’s session with teachers continued in the university stadium,sections of teachers and students held demonstrations outside the venue,criticising the university administration for “resorting to sham tactics”.

All India Students’ Association (AISA) president Sandeep Singh said,“To address students’ anger and disquiet on the four-year undergraduate programme,we have started a petition across colleges in DU urging the President of India,who is also the Visitor of DU,to intervene.”

Some teachers who attended the interactive session also voiced concerns over the manner in which it was conducted. “While we had put forward questions for the interactive session,we didn’t get a chance to ask them. So,we went up to the dais to talk to the VC and shared our concerns regarding the structural problems in the four-year undergraduate programme. We told him that our reservations predates the foundation courses,” said Rina Ramdev,who teaches English at Sri Venkastweswara College.

Some other teachers said while the intention behind the four-year course might be good,the execution was the main problem. “I appreciate the spirit behind the course. Some students find the foundation courses too fundamental while others find it challenging. Instead of having uniform courses,it would have been better had there been two or three levels in the foundation courses. I can understand the rationale behind the emphasis on creativity in content. However,such things can work in a class of 20 students and not 70,” said Novy Kapadia,who teaches at SGTB Khalsa College.

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