‘100 ad-hoc employees could lose their jobs’ – DU English teachers protest adjustment that ‘reduces workload’

New Delhi: English teachers at the University of Delhi (DU) fear many will lose their jobs under the latest undergraduate program framework, which cuts their workload by a “third”, ThePrint has learned.

The teachers claimed that around 100 ad hoc or guest teachers at all levels could lose their jobs if the decision is not overturned.

Issued by the Executive Council of the University of Delhi in February this year, the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework, 2022 – which structures the courses according to the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 – omits the English as support for the Mandatory Skills Enhancement Courses (AECC).

Previously taken for four credits, these courses cover topics such as types and theories of communication, communication skills for business, interpersonal communication, social communication, writing skills, non-verbal communication, discussions group and public speaking.

In a public statement he posted on Facebook on Sunday, Rudrashish Chakraborty, a professor at DU’s Kirori Mal College, said the framework was removing the “English language requirement” component in the AECC and dropping the English option from basis in the BA and B.Com. . programs.

“As the reopening of the university is fast approaching, there is a clear indication that the workload of the English department in the colleges is reduced by at least a third due to the elimination of the courses mentioned above. above,” he wrote.

This risk is considerably higher for English teachers who teach the course in science colleges, Charkroborty said in his post. DU has about 800 English teachers in total, both permanent and ad hoc, according to a professor ThePrint spoke to.

More than 400 teachers submitted a petition to Delhi University Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh in March this year asking the university to reverse the decision, Chakraborty said in his Facebook post. They have yet to receive a response to the petition, according to teachers ThePrint spoke to.

The new framework will be implemented in the 2022-23 academic year when the university begins rolling out its four-year undergraduate programs under the NEP.

ThePrint contacted DU Registrar Vikas Gupta by phone. The report will be updated if and when it responds.

However, in a statement to The Indian Express in January this year, Gupta had denied claims that the framework would reduce the workload. He said then that workload is determined by the student-teacher ratio – that is, the number of students in an institution divided by the number of teachers.

Change

As part of the DU curriculum, environmental studies and the AECC are two courses that students in all departments are required to study, teachers told ThePrint.

A seasoned English teacher spoke about changing teaching mediums and why this might now be a problem. He said that previously students could choose to take both courses – AECC as well as environmental studies – in English, Hindi or Sanskrit.

“But most of the students chose the English option thinking it would help them develop their personality,” the professor said.

The 2022 undergraduate program framework changes the language of instruction to any of the 22 languages ​​of the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. This, however, does not include English.

This means that a student “joining this course to help become part of the globalized economy will simply no longer have the opportunity”, the professor said.

The impact on faculty

In his Facebook post, Chakraborty explained how the change would affect teachers.

“In my college (DU’s Kirorimal College), there is a loss of 60 classes in the next semester; at Hansraj College it’s 50, at Ramjas it’s almost 60+. So that’s the story in the colleges of the university,” he wrote.

Those most affected, he said, would be English teachers at colleges that don’t offer specialist English or a bachelor’s degree program – such as Keshav Mahavidyalaya, GGS College of Commerce, the Institute of Home Economics, Lady Irwin College, Bhaskaracharya and Rajguru College of Applied Sciences.

“Their entire workload was mostly AECC, which is gone now, making permanent teachers almost superfluous, forget the ad-hocs (sic),” he said.

Abha Dev Habib, secretary of the left-aligned Teachers’ Democratic Front, told ThePrint that the change threatened additional teachers hired right after the credit-based choice system (CBCS) – a policy that allows students to choose from a set of prescribed courses. — was introduced at the university in 2015.

“Over the past two years teachers have been hired to share the extra workload brought by CBCS, now they have changed the scheme again. These teachers who were hired in the past five years are now at risk of losing their jobs,” she said.

(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)