September 25, 2020 7:27:44 pm
Authorities of state universities in West Bengal have expressed doubts about completing the undergraduate curriculum of the 2020-21 academic year within nine months from November 1, as recommended by the UGC. The 2021-22 academic year is likely to begin from August 30 next year.
The authorities, however, said they will have to chalk out a way to complete the curriculum after the final semester examinations scheduled in October.
The University Grants Commission (UGC), in a recent advisory, recommended that admissions to the first-year undergraduate courses be completed by October 31 and classes positively start from November 1 for the 2020-21 academic year.
“Even if classes are held six days a week, it will be difficult to complete the entire curriculum within nine months in the present semester-based system,” a senior Jadavpur University official told PTI on Friday.
Holidays and vacations will have to be factored in before chalking out the academic calendar, he said.
“We are currently preoccupied with conducting supplementary examinations for earlier semesters, laboratory projects, besides preparing for holding the final semester examinations from October 1. Implementing the UGC advisory to complete admission to first year by October 31 will not be much of a problem. But we have to find a way to complete the 2020-21 academic schedule,” the official said.
A Calcutta University official said its decision-making body, the Senate, will sit with the vice-chancellor to discuss implementation of the UGC guidelines and decide on how to start the classes, in which format and how to complete the curriculum.
Rabindra Bharati University Vice Chancellor Sabyasachi Basu Roychowdhury said, “As the West Bengal assembly elections are due in April-May next year, many educational institutions will become polling centres. That will certainly impede the process of holding classes during that period.”
Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) general secretary Partha Pratim Roy said, “Personally, I think the entire 2020-21 academic calendar could have been deferred by one year, instead of taking hasty decisions which will create confusion among students.”
“As an organisation, the JUTA will speak on the issue later. We will give our views as stakeholders and in the interest of the students,” he said.
The All Bengal University Teachers’ Association (ABUTA), in a statement, said the UGC advisory to start classes is “irresponsible” and endangers the lives of the students “when the Centre has failed to control the COVID-19 outbreak”.
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