One more year to be added to DU degree, undergraduate courses to be four-year long
When undergraduate students join Delhi University next year, their courses will not just be longer by a year but probably better too. The varsity has decided to make a new curriculum for all undergraduate courses for the session starting July 2013.DU says a new hands-on curriculum is on the cards which will replace the existing syllabi for the first year. Though time is scarce, senior DU officials say they will get cracking before the end of this month so that the four-year undergraduate programmes can usher in a new study culture in the university when the next session begins.”What’s taught today is too didactic and rigorous. We want to give students time to evolve through their college course,” said a senior DU official who will be working on the course framework for next year.DU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dinesh Singh, said: “We want a new curriculum to be taught in the first year from the next session. It will offer students more time and opportunities to work on projects, innovation and research. The students will have time to think about what they want to study. We are also looking at making the theory part less hectic.” With only nine months to go before the next session begins, Singh said groups of teachers will soon start working on developing a new course for all undergraduate programmes. “We will be able to frame a new curriculum for the first year by next year. We can then take time to develop content for subsequent years as we go along,” he added.advertisementClick here to EnlargeThe fact that there are nearly 80 undergraduate courses taught in different DU colleges makes the task more daunting. But Singh feels that the four-year programmes will bring an end to all academic woes.One of the highlights of the proposed scheme is that students will be awarded credit points for different papers as well as co-curricular activities. So if a student excels in a sport, he can seek credit for it and avoid studying for a paper. Secondly, students will have three exit options over the four-year duration. They will get a diploma if they choose to exit after two years, a general degree after three years and a degree equivalent to the existing honours degree on the completion of the course.Teachers, however, are apprehensive. They believe DU is rushing the changes without proper preparation. “We have no information of the curriculum change. We talk of being student friendly but those taking admission next year will have no clue about what is in store for them,” said Sanam Khanna, associate professor, Kamala Nehru College.She said that a new curriculum is adopted after much discussion and debate among teachers in general body meetings as well as course committees. “It’s a laborious process that takes a lot of time. Besides, we have to stock up our library and prepare our teaching material accordingly,” Khanna said.A teacher from Shri Ram College of Commerce was as cynical. “Will students get more jobs after studying for four years? Will they be considered better-qualified? DU officials have no idea of the problems at the grass-root level. I think it’s time they focused on quality and appointment of teachers,” he said.