DU English Teachers Fear Loss of Livelihoods, Urge VC to Reinstate Department Workload Reduction by New U- Edexlive
More than 400 Delhi University English professors have urged the Vice Chancellor to reinstate their department’s workload which they fear will be ‘massively reduced’ due to the implementation of the curriculum framework (UGCF) from the 2022-23 academic session and lead to loss of livelihood, as reported by PTI.
Teachers noted that UGCF’s proposed structure singles out the English department in particular for a massive reduction, almost on the order of 30 to 40 percent, of its existing workload. “This will not only result in a dilution of academic quality, but also a loss of livelihood for the hundreds of ad hoc teachers teaching for years in English departments,” the teachers said in their letter to the VC.
The letter was signed by 403 teachers from Delhi University colleges. In the letter, the teachers said that the structure of the UGCF mentions that the capacity building courses (AEC) are only offered in the languages included in Annex VIII and that this does not include English. “Removing English as an option in the AEC will significantly reduce the workload of every English department at DU, thereby threatening the livelihoods of all ad hoc teachers working in colleges,” reads -on in the letter.
Teachers also argued that the proposed structure of UGCF fails to take into account the reality of school education where students study English up to Grade XII as a compulsory language across the country, as opposed to to the option of any other language in their class XII exam. As per Delhi University statutes, students belonging to North East, Jammu and Kashmir and foreign nationals are exempted from studying Hindi/MIL and have always been given English as an option, says the letter.
“This statutory provision has been confirmed and reiterated by the university in every academic reform undertaken by the University since 2005: whether in the semester system of 2010-11, FYUP of 2013 or the CBCS 2015. The proposed structure of the ‘UGCF denies the above-mentioned student option and violates a long-established and established enabling provision of the University in favor of students from diverse backgrounds,’ the letter reads.
The letter further stated that while AEC courses offered in Indian languages are welcome, the removal of English as an AEC course amounts to denial of option for students based on their proficiency level. “It is ironic that while the NEP claims to offer unlimited choice to students, the proposed structure of UGCF denies the same choice to students by not allowing them the option of English as an AEC course,” says the letter.
Teachers have urged the VC to ensure that English as an AEC course and also as a core language course in BA and BCom program courses remain intact. “This will protect the existing workload of English departments, while crucially safeguarding the livelihoods of hundreds of ad hoc teachers working in the university’s English departments, currently battling pressure from the uncertainty that these changes portend,” the letter said. The Academic Council and the Executive Council of the University of Delhi have already approved the UGCF.