Updated: July 6, 2022 9:04:36 am
Almost 450 English teachers of Delhi University have sent a petition to the DU Teachers’ Association President stating their reservations about loss of workload under the new four-year undergraduate programme to be launched this year and asking him to “intervene urgently”.
They said there would be an “unprecedented loss” of workload under the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) to be implemented from the academic year 2022–23.
“We note with alarm that the proposed structures of UGCF single out the English department in particular for a massive reduction, almost in the range of one-third of its existing workload. This will lead to a loss of livelihood for the hundreds of ad-hoc teachers teaching for years, in the English departments across the University,” the teachers said.
“The UGCF structure says that AEC (ability enhancement courses) are offered only in the languages included in VIII Schedule and that does not include English. This replaces the existing CBCS structure where English and Hindi/MIL are both offered as options for students in AECC: enabling students to exercise their choice of language according to their proficiency. Moreover, the AECC course was assigned four lectures — constituting a substantive workload for the English department in every college. With the removal of English as an option in AEC, English departments across the University are staring at a drastic reduction in workload. Colleges like Kirori Mal and Ramjas have lost more than 60 lectures, while Hansraj, Shaheed Bhagat Singh (M) and others will lose more than 50 lectures next semester,” they said.
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The teachers have also said the removal of Core English Courses from BA/BCom Programmes in the first four semesters of the existing CBCS courses has added insult to injury.
“Moreover, the compulsory English language courses that are offered at three levels, namely, A, B and C, depending on their proficiency level are now being removed from the UGCF, thus reducing the workload of the English department irreparably. In every section of BA and BCom Programme, a minimum of 30 lectures are lost (five lectures each of
English A, B and C across two courses): the loss is multiplied across every section,” they wrote.
“The most devastating impact of the removal of compulsory English courses on workload has been felt in colleges which do not offer Honours or Programme courses in English. Colleges like Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Shri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Lady Irwin College, Institute of Home Economics, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied sciences and Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women are facing a situation where the permanent teachers do not have enough workload for themselves. One can easily imagine the situation of the ad-hoc teachers in these colleges, many of whom have already been told by their principals that their services are not required next semester owing to lack of
workload,” they said.
The teachers said that as per DU statutes, students belonging to the North East, Jammu and Kashmir, and Foreign nationals were “exempted from studying Hindi/MIL, and have always been given English as an option” but that this option was now being denied to students and “violates a laid down and a long-standing enabling provision of the University in favour of students coming from diverse backgrounds”.
DUTA President A K Bhagi said he was apprised of the matter and would ensure that there is no reduction in the
workload of teachers and no ad-hoc is affected by it. “We have also asked colleges to tell us the quantum of reduction they are expecting by calculating the exact workload… In the value-added course, we have asked the HoD to make a paper of two credits which can be covered in place of the AEC. We will then take up the matter with both the department and the university authorities,” he said.
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