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Joining hands to 'save' DU

April 23, 2013 DHNS 23:39 IST
Finally it is for parents and students to see what DU is going to become,” said Abha Dev Habib, professor at Miranda House, while recently spearheading the new leg of ‘Save DU’ campaign with a protest and candle light vigil at A-Block, Connaught Place.

A movement started by students and teachers against the proposed four-year graduation at Delhi University has now reached the masses with the protesters asking common people to join the campaign.

“The battle is difficult without taking in confidence the parents and students about the rushed courses that around 1.5 lakh regular students of DU will have to undertake. What is worse is the one year additional cost of education that will be incurred by parents in order to support the students,” says Abha.

The furore has gained momentum even as the varsity authorities are all set to roll the Baccalaureate degree from the new session. What the authorities seem to overlook is the effect of the change on special students.

“While campaigning in IP college, I met a few visually-impaired students who said they are given a choice to opt out of Mathematics in class eight. After quitting the subject in class eight, how do you expect them to revive their knowledge of the subject in college where Maths will be compulsory under the new syllabus?” she adds.

So, the concept of inclusive education system goes for a toss.
The students, who are equally angry over the new degree, interacted with people, distributed leaflets, held a mass signature campaign and observed a candlelight vigil to protest the attempted destruction of quality education in the University.

While most consider the vice-chancellor to be at fault, few want the Parliament to intervene. For instance, Bupenda Meitei, a final year student of MA in Philosophy and hailing from a north-eastern state, voiced the concern of his
community.

He said, “Only Manipuri and Assamese are listed in the major Indian languages. Does this mean that those opting for other languages prevalent in north-east will not be able to seek admission in DU?”

His grieved voice narrates the pathos of his whole community which forms a major portion of students in DU.

Others, in the meanwhile, are not ready to accept this change for the sake of the future generations. Even though their efforts did not bear fruit earlier and the semester system was imposed, they want to keep the fight and hope alive.

Atul, a student of Kirori Mal College said, “We cannot let our future generations suffer. I agree that we failed at some point in the past, but we cannot allow commercialisation of education like this. The campaign is not about one
individual but the whole society of which youth is an integral part.”

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