DU Teachers Urge VC to Restore English Dept Workload

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Over 400 English teachers of the Delhi University have urged the vice-chancellor to restore the workload of their department which they fear will be “massively reduced” due to the implementation of undergraduate curriculum framework from the 2022-23 academic session and will lead to loss of livelihoods.

The teachers noted that the proposed structure of the UGCF singles out the English department in particular for a massive reduction, almost in the range of 30 to 40 percent, of its existing workload. “This will not only lead to a dilution of academic quality but also loss of livelihood for the hundreds of Adhoc teachers teaching for years in English departments,” the teachers said in their letter to the VC.

The letter was signed by 403 teachers across Delhi University colleges. In the letter, the teachers said the UGCF structure mentions that the Ability Enhancement Courses (AEC) are offered only in the languages included in the VIII Schedule and that does not include English.

“The removal of English as an option in AEC will drastically reduce the workload of each English department in DU, thus threatening the livelihood of all adhoc teachers working in colleges,” the letter read. The teachers also contended that the proposed UGCF structure does not take into account the reality of school education where students study English till Class XII as a compulsory language across the country, as against the option of any other language in their Class XII exam.

As per the statutes of the University of Delhi, students belonging to the North-East, Jammu and Kashmir and foreign nationals are exempted from studying Hindi/MIL, and have always been given English as an option, the letter said.

“This statutory provision has been upheld 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 UGCF structure denies the aforesaid option to students and violates a laid down and a long-standing enabling provision of the university in favour of students coming from diverse backgrounds,” said the letter.

The letter further said while the AEC courses offered in Indian languages are welcome, the removal of English as an AEC course amounts to denial of option to students as per their proficiency level. “It is ironic that while the NEP claims to offer unlimited choice to students, the proposed UGCF structure denies the same choice to students in not allowing them the option of English as an AEC course,” the letter stated.

The teachers have urged the VC to ensure English as an AEC course and also as a core language course in BA and B.Com programme courses remains intact. “This will protect the existing workload of English departments, while also crucially safeguarding the livelihood of hundreds of adhoc teachers working in English departments across the university, currently battling the pressures of uncertainty that these changes portend,” the letter noted. Delhi University’s academic council and executive council have already approved the UGCF.

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