Another blow for DU students

Another blow for DU students

Experimenting with future

Another blow for DU students

Here comes another jolt by Delhi University (DU) for its undergraduates. Another major change is in the offing with grading system replacing the existing marks/division system. As the authorities try to rehaul the existing system one-disastrous step at a time, the guinea pigs are none other than the students.

So, will this grading system really help? A similar experiment tried at the school level has not yielded positive results. At the university level, under the existing system of evaluation, a student’s score is division-based – depending on the percentage of marks. The idea behind grading is to reduce this jostling for marks and the unhealthy competitive environment it creates.

Shomojit Bhattacharya, Economics professor in Kirorimal College feels that a
grading system should ideally be without a heirarchy defined by marks. For instance, if a student gets 91-100 per cent he is accorded ‘A1’; 81-90 is A2 and so on, in the descending order. However in JNU, students are only graded without being given marks.

Shomojit, a JNU passout himself, feels that grading may work if students are assessed as per JNU norms. “Actually, it is a good idea to bring in the grade system as it reduces subjectivity and cut-throat competition. But, if it is like in schools where marks are converted into grades, then I think it is not a good idea and will be an eyewash.”
He also points out that, “Those used to marks will not be comfortable with grades. It needs proper ‘workshops’ to help students understand how the grading system functions.”

While Shomojit may have attempted a rationale for the move, members of DUTA are outright contemptuous. “The current vice chancellor Dinesh Singh is treating DU like a Bollywood script,” says Abha Dev Habib, member DUTA and a Professor at Miranda House. “Everyday we find a new development. They should first handle one change and go on to another. But he (VC) is just not bothered. He is unilateral when it comes to decisions and we are never consulted even once.”

The VC and his panel should understand that any decision they take has to keep in mind that it will affect a large community and any proposal can directly affect the students’ future. Although the grade system will ease competition, eventually during admission only marks will help to take students. “When there will be difference in marks of even .5 percentage, only marks will help sort admission and not grades,” adds Habib. Answers anyone?