Searching for middle path

Searching for middle path

Students who enrolled in the four-year undergraduate programme when it started  last year have mixed feelings about its rollback.

Most of them welcome the idea of getting their degree now in just three years. But they want at least some elements of the now scrapped course to be retained.

Away from the bedlam and claims of various political organisations, students of the first batch of FYUP are waiting for the dust to settle before clarity emerges on their future.

More than the teachers, theses students have much to sayabout the programme, its flaws, its key features and ways of improving it.

“Uninteresting foundation courses are the major reason for the failure of FYUP,” says Sohini Das, a second-year FYUP student from Kamala Nehru College.

The framework should be tweaked to give students more time to pursue their main papers, she suggests.

Some class 12 students who were hoping to join the FYUP in the 2014-15 academic session, too are advocating the continuation of the now-scrapped course.

“I did not apply to any other university as I wanted to pursue  Bachelors in Technology from Delhi University,” says Murali Raman.

According to Raman, the university’s BTech degree has greater market value than a Bachelors in Science (BSc) degree.

The BTech degree also helps students to directly pursue MTech degree without going for an MSc first, he says.

BTech confusion

Confusion over the six courses introduced under the BTech degree still looms.

Some university teachers say these courses might be left untouched, while others hint that changes may be brought about.

“Just by changing the nomenclature, a BSc  degree doesn’t become equivalent to an actual BTech degree being offered by technology institutes,” says Vijaya Venkatramam, member of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).

 “The university has to work out some modifications for these courses and get it approved by All India Council for Technical Education,” she adds.

Following the FYUP rollback, colleges are gearing up to restructure the syllabus for the three-year mode and reallocate seats to certain courses.

But a university teacher claims the FYUP rollback will not mean an end to the semester system which was introduced in the academic session 2011-12.

According to teachers, the four-year degree in Journalism and Mass Communication will now be split and the university may revert to awarding honours degree in Journalism as per its earlier structure.

Entrance tests for courses like Journalism and English would be back, but not this year due shortage of time left now for admission.

Semester system

Sanam Khanna, associate professor of English at Kamala Nehru College, says, “I am happy that the FYUP has been rolled back. But it is still not the ideal situation for the university to retain the semester system.”

She prefers an annual examination mode to a system of six-monthly test at the end of each semester.

Academics have floated several models for restructuring the FYUP.

DUTA proposed a model to the University Grants Commission-appointed Standing Committee that suggested that foundation courses as well as applied courses be scrapped.

Yuki Azaad Tomar, an assistant professor from Institute of Home Economics, favours a three–year model filled with two discipline courses and no foundation courses.

Meanwhile, FYUP students have started preparing themselves mentally for the various options being explored by the university authorities.

“If they are planning to squeeze the four-year programme into a three-year course, the syllabus should be reduced,” says Tanya Arora, pursuing Psychology from Jesus and Mary College. She recommends that foundation courses should be either scrapped or made optional.