The Delhi University (DU) is again considering four-year undergraduate courses as part of implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020, officials said on Thursday.
The teacher’s associations have, however, raised objections and alleged that the University was trying to push the NEP without “wider consultation.”
The university had in September formed a committee to formulate the guidelines for the implementation of the NEP 2020. According to the teachers at the university, the committee members had last week received an email regarding the courses to add to their guidelines, including four-year undergraduate courses. DU had introduced the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) in 2014. It was scrapped by the government after massive protests by students and teachers the same year.
The Democratic Teachers’ Front (DTF), a teachers’ body in DU, on Thursday issued a statement saying that a proposed plan shared with the members of the committee included several “objectionable” points including, “Honours courses to be recast into majors in four years. Students will not get an honours degree in three years. Language courses and smaller departments not offering Honours courses will close down. And, if students choose to exit from the course after 1st and 2nd year, they will get a certificate and diploma, respectively.”
Several teachers at the university said that DU was agin going to repeat the same mistakes by implementing four-year undergraduate programmes. “It’s unfortunate to note that the University of Delhi has not learned its lessons from its colossal failure of the past, especially in academic reforms. The NEP is only a rehash of the FYUP in many ways. DU should not implement these decisions in haste without consulting the teachers and students,” said Nandita Narain, president of DTF and an associate professor at St Stephen’s College.
DU Dean of Colleges and spokesperson Balram Pani said that the committee has not formulated the guidelines yet to share with the teachers and students . “DU is considering the introduction of four-year UG programs since the NEP 2020 advocates these courses. But the university will not implement anything without consulting teachers. Once the committee submits its report on how to implement the NEP and then we will send it to teachers and make it public for students for wider consultation,” he said.’
Earlier in November, JNU had constituted a committee to implement the NEP and said that it might also introduce four-year undergraduate courses.
The president of DU teachers’ association (DUTA) Rajib Ray issued a statement saying, “It is extremely unfortunate that instead of focusing on how best to reach out to students during the pandemic, policies are being bulldozed. The DUTA will have its executive meeting early next week to discuss this matter.”