On Thursday, the officials said that the Delhi University is again considering four-year undergraduate courses as part of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The teacher’s associations have, however, raised objections and have alleged that the University was trying to push the NEP without wider consultation. In September, the University had formed a committee to formulate the guidelines for the implementation of NEP 2020. The committee members had received an email in the previous week regarding the courses to add to their guidelines which included the four-year undergraduate courses, according to the teachers at the University. In 2014, the Four-Year Undergraduate Program (FYUP) was introduced. After massive protests by students and teachers the same year, the FYIP was scrapped by the government.
On Thursday, a teacher’s body in DU, the Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF) issued a statement saying that a proposed plan shared with the members of the committee included several objectionable points. It was inclusive of honors courses to be recast into majors in four years. In three years, students will not be getting an honors degree. Smaller departments and language courses not offering Honors courses will close down. The students will get a certificate and diploma if they choose to exit from the course after 1st and 2nd year respectively.
Delhi University is again going to repeat the same mistakes by implementing the four-year undergraduate programs, said several teachers of the varsity. Nandita Narain, associate professor at St. Stephen’s College and president at DTF said that it was unfortunate to note that the Delhi University had not learned its lessons from its colossal failure of the past, especially in academic reforms. In many ways, the NEP is only a rehash of the FYUP. These decisions should not be implemented in haste by the DU without the consultation of teachers and students.
Balaram Pani, DU Dean (Colleges) and spokesperson said that the guidelines have not been yet formed by the committee to share with the teachers and students. He said that since the NEP 2020 advocates these courses, the DU was considering the introduction of four-year UG programs. But without the consultation of the teachers, anything will not be implemented. The report of the committee will be sent to the teachers and made public for the students once the report is submitted by the committee.
JNU had earlier in November, constituted a committee to implement the NED and had said that four-year undergraduate programs might be introduced by it also.
A statement was issued by the president of DUTA, Rajib Ray, saying that it was extremely unfortunate that instead of focusing on how best to reach out to students during the pandemic, policies were being bulldozed. Early next week, DUTA will be having its executive meeting to discuss this matter.