As the next academic year approaches, English teachers in Delhi University are raising concerns over the loss of workload with changes to be brought in by the four-year undergraduate programme structure.
The Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) approved by the university’s statutory bodies for the implementation of the four-year undergraduate programme states that the Ability Enhancement Courses (AEC) pool that students can choose in their first four semesters will have languages included in the VIIIth schedule, which does not include English. They have stated that this replaces the current system where both English and Hindi/Modern Indian Languages are offered as options to students as AECs.
They have also pointed out that English has been removed as a Core Language course in the BA Programme and BCom programme courses.
According to Rudrashish Chakraborty, English teacher at Kirori Mal College and former academic council member, the result is a one-third reduction in workload of the English department across colleges.
“This is the time of the year in which lectures and workload is calculated across colleges. In my college, there is a loss of 60 lectures in the next semester. In Hansraj College, it is 50, in Ramjas College, it is around 60. The worst scenario is in colleges like Keshav Mahavidyalaya, Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Lady Irwin College, and Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, which do not offer either BA (Hons) English or BA Programme. Their entire workload used to be from the AEC which is gone now,” said Chakraborty.
These concerns are enhanced by a circular issued by the Assistant Registrar (Colleges) to all departments and colleges which stated that teaching-learning workload of permanent teachers have to be as defined by the UGC Regulations of 2018 and that “any requirement for a Adhoc/Guest Faculty must be supported by time table, teaching learning workload of permanent faculty members and a certificate stating that the required hours for direct teaching learning are met in respect of all the permanent faculty members.”
Earlier this year, more than 400 English teachers had also petitioned the Vice-Chancellor asking that English remain in the AEC pool and as a Core Language course in the BA and BCom programme courses.
“English departments across DU colleges are staring at mass level displacements of existing ad hoc and guest teachers because of the removal of English from the compulsory AEC course. We have raised this matter several times in Academic Council meetings, but the University has not taken any step yet to prevent the impending displacements,” said Academic Council member Mithuraaj Dhusiya.
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