The University of Delhi is mulling a return to FYUP (first-year undergraduate programmes) format. The Standing Committee on Academic Matters is set to discuss a proposal to implement FYUP from the academic year 2022-23. The proposal to implement the FYUP is in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, however, the proposal has met dissenting voices.
There was fierce opposition by three out of 36 AC members ahead of the meeting scheduled on August 25. The Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) has called for a strike outside the Vice-Chancellor Office.
The University administration is going to face greater opposition on the day of the meeting both inside and outside the Academic Council according to the statement from the Treasurer of DUTA Abha Dev Habib.
FYUP allows undergraduate courses to be interdisciplinary and are part of suggestions by NEP. DU had introduced FYUP in 2013 as well, however, it was scrapped after protests.
Going by the experience of FYUP 2013 DUTA member Habib said, “Experience shows that students rejected the idea of additional expenditure for the fourth year. Survey amongst students, which was carried out in 2013, showed that students were spending close to Rs 1.5 – Rs 2 lakhs per year in staying in Delhi to receive their education.”
She added, “Students rejected the idea of FYUP because of the dilution of the first two years of FYUP. We see that the new model once again packs the first two semesters with lukewarm courses.”
The addition of the fourth year will put an additional burden on infrastructure in terms of classrooms, labs, etc. “Most colleges do not have any space or scope for further expansion. Neither is there any promise of additional grants for creating infrastructure nor has any study been done of the current state in the institution,” said the dissenting note.
DU is also mulling to introduce SWAYAM and MOOCs as part of the course, as suggested by the NEP, however, discussion on the same has been deferred, which the dissenting teachers said is a sigh of relief.
Why MOOCs, SWAYAM Deferment is Hailed as Good News?
The Standing Committee on Academic Matters had to defer the agenda on the implementation of SWAYAM and MOOCS because of the opposition.
“MOOCs and Swayam under NEP 2020 will bring about a model of online education that is going to dilute the academic quality of Delhi University and undermine the value of its degree,” said Mithuraaj Dhusiya AC member and from Hansraj College DU.
He explains that if Swayam and MOOCS become operational on regular courses, then more than 50% of credit earned by a student would come from outside the student’s college or university. “The students can access content and course online, which is going create fluctuating workload, lead to contractual teaching and dilution of academic culture in the university,” he added.
This stands in contrast to the effort of teachers fighting for ad-hoc to get absorbed. “That it has been deferred is good news.”
Opposition against Multiple Entry & Exit System
The new National Education Policy emphasizes the Multiple Entry and Exit System and Four Year degree program.
“MEES will affect the current employment workload leading to thousands of ad-hoc without permanent positions. It will also affect the quality of education,” said the dissenting voices from DU in a note.
“The MEES along with the burden of extra expenditure will encourage dropouts. This will hit women students as well as others from marginalized and underprivileged sections,” the note added.
The dissenting Standing Committee members have demanded deliberation upon the recommendations of the NEP Implementation Committee and considering feedback from stakeholders.
They demand that the report must be sent for discussion to all statutory bodies, like the Committees of Courses, Staff Councils, Faculties, etc. before taking it to the Academic Council, said the dissenting teachers, in the dissenting note.