New Delhi: The Delhi University has passed the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF) formulated according to the National Education Policy (NEP) for its 2022-23 academic session, notwithstanding dissent from some academic council members.
The UGCF was passed at the Academic Council (AC) meeting of the university on Wednesday.
Eleven members gave a dissent note against the framework, saying the UGCF 2022 must be sent for discussion to all statutory bodies such as the committees of courses, staff councils and faculties before taking it to the Academic Council.
The UGCF will come up for discussion in the Executive Council meeting on February 11.
The DU has approved the implementation of the NEP from 2022-23 and the four-year undergraduate programme (FYUP).
The dissent note said that the university gave only 10 days for the stakeholders to respond to a restructuring which will change the landscape of UG education and have major consequences for students and teachers.
“No steps were taken to seek feedback from statutory bodies like Committee of Courses, Faculty and Staff Council and other democratic forums like Departmental Council. The feedback collected has not been shared with the members of the Academic Council.
“While it may be true that the University has received overwhelming response, it is important to investigate the feedback for concerns stakeholders may have raised. A blind eye to concerns raised would be fatal,” it said.
Listing out the other issues, the note said that the Academic Council was also not privy to the deliberations of the NEP cell and the Standing Committee, academics were denied its right to consider this agenda before it was brought to the AC.
Noting that the fixing of the academic year 2022-23 as the year of implementation of NEP 2020 is “baseless”, they said the scheme is “so faulty” that in a year’s time, this is the fourth model of four-year undergraduate programme placed by the university for discussion.
They said that the UGCF does not follow the framework as stipulated by draft National Higher Education Qualifications Framework (NHEQF) on which the UGC is seeking feedback.
The note advised the University to compile concerns raised in the statutory bodies on NEP recommendations including on UGCF and send it to the UGC as feedback on NHEQF.
“The current batch of 12th class students had enough of instability in terms of their crucial years getting affected by the pandemic. It will not be fair to force rushed exercises of CUCET and FYUP on them. For once University of Delhi should be spared from these experiments,” the note.
Reiterating that the implementation of NEP 2020 will see a massive reduction of the current workload, they said that in the proposed UGCF, a student will earn Honours degree with 20 DSC (Discipline Specific Core papers) i.e. with 80 credits out of a total of 176.
“DSCs will constitute only 45.4 per cent of the total credits. In the name of ‘choice’ and multidisciplinary, this is a huge dilution of Honours courses and attack on university’s right and duty to design a credible framework which provides a rounded and robust education. This will also lead to massive job reduction,” they claimed.
The UGCF also states that students who exit at the end of the first year after successful completion of academic requirements will be awarded with a UG certificate and those exiting at the end of the second year will be awarded with UG Diploma.
“The relevance of such awards on the job prospects of a student remains unclear. The very idea of a single structure leading to multiple types of certifications is so flawed that a meaningful FYUP of this kind is not possible. Much hyped Certificate and Diploma are mere paper degrees,” said the note.
It also raised the fact that the FYUP will increase burden of another year of education on parents and students and Multiple Entry and Exit Scheme (MEES) will institutionalise drop-outs.
“This will hit women students as well as others from marginalized and underprivileged sections. Lakhs of students complete a degree in three-years before joining the job market. The way things are, with FYUP in place the market will treat even a three-year graduate student as a drop-out and devalue them,” they said.
The UGCF reduces weightage in terms of number of hours and hence, credits, dedicated towards Discipline Specific Core (DSC), Discipline Specific Electives (DSE) and Generic Elective (GE) from 6 (as in the current 3-year LOCF or the other models of FYUP) to 4.
The university had introduced FYUP in 2013 and withdrawn it in 2014 after huge protests.
“Students had rejected the FYUP mainly because of the additional expenditure for the fourth year. A survey carried out amongst students in 2013 showed that students were spending closed to 1.5 – 2 lakh per year in staying in Delhi to receive education. Students also rejected the FYUP because of the severe dilution of the first two years of the course. The new model falls into the same trap by offering inconsequential courses in the first two semesters,” they said.
The DU Teachers’ Association (DUTA) protested outside the Academic Council meeting against the UGCF.
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