At a time when Delhi University (DU) is undergoing academic change, one of its colleges, Maharaja Agrasen College (MAC), organised a summit for students of other colleges and universities to discuss educational matters in India.
The aim of the two-day academic congress (March 21-22) focused on ‘Educational Reforms: The Way Forward’ was to give students a platform for free expression on burning issues.
Sudhir K Rinten, assistant professor, MAC, said, “Students happen to be the largest stakeholders in the area of educational reform, so we consider it our duty not to let their voices go unheard. It’s our firm belief that we can help in addressing the key challenges arising out of educational reforms in India and evolve strategies for the implementation of a student-friendly education system.”
Regarding change, it began at the bottom of the pyramid with the implementation of the grading system in CBSE schools. Certain measures were also taken to improve the education system such as paving the way for entry of foreign universities in India, setting up of meta universities and universities for research and innovation, increasing the number of central universities and other national institutes and 4-year graduate
“These issues coupled with other problems are plaguing the Indian education system. The lack of staff, ill-equipped infrastructure, under-qualified teachers, among other issues, are a matter of concern for our policymakers,” said Sudhir.
As many as 32 proposals of the students which were short-listed will be studied by the principals and professors before being presented to the Vice-Chancellor of DU.
On a proposal made by a student from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Sudhir, said, “This proposal was interesting – it was on the discrimination between on-campus and off-campus colleges. The student suggested a teacher-student exchange to end
Another issue raised by the students was the gap between the courses taught and practical knowledge in the industry. “Many aspects are missing in academic courses. So when students go to the field, they are clueless about practices in the industry, because the syllabus doesn’t have it. Students should work and studying simultaneously because practical knowledge on the latest developments can only happen this way.
Inter-college-university-disciplinary exchanges will help students learn what others are doing.”
The semester system, campus placements, comparison of Indian and foreign universities, personality development, promotion of sports and extra-curricular activities as career alternatives were also discussed. The summit certainly threw up some very interesting questions and suggestions.