FYUP in trouble: students, teachers push for change

Posted on Jan 17 2014 - 10:42am by Harsha Iyer

It created headlines when it was introduced last year. After one semester, Delhi University’s Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) is being criticised by a major section of students and teachers.

They are demanding a rollback of the new academic structure of the university’s

undergraduate degree. The stir has been supported by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) too, which conducted a college-to-college campaign last week.

‘Courses too basic’

Several students say that the FYUP is not delivering what it promised.

“There are too many foundation courses and very few discipline courses in FYUP which is not doing us any good as we are not learning anything new. In four years, I will be studying just 18 discipline courses as compared to 27 in the three-year degree. Moreover, FYUP was meant to offer us the freedom to choose our own subjects, but this is not happening. The level of foundation courses is too basic and equivalent to what we learnt in high school,” says Paras Jain, a first-year BCom (hons) student at the College of Vocational Studies.

He adds,“We were asked to write an essay on the Delhi Metro and were asked questions based on square root, which we learnt in school. Our lectures also start at 11.45am and end at 4.20pm during which there are only two lectures for the main subjects, which are taken by the same set of teachers who teach the second-year and third-year students.” There has not been a single lecture for the course on Integrating Mind, Body and Heart in the first semester in his college, Jain adds.

Other students also stress that the projects given as part of these foundation courses are “not realistic and are very basic in nature.” Jyoti Sharma, a first-year student says, “We just have to do an internet search, compile everything, take printouts and submit it. There is no application or room to learn.”

Teachers unhappy

Several students had similar stories to share as they got together at various colleges and at the arts faculty last week, protesting against the FYUP. Many ad hoc and language teachers are worried too. “Everyone’s likely to do well as evaluation of the foundation courses is entirely internal. FYUP was introduced in a great hurry without consulting the teachers. There was no audit on the infrastructure and the structure is radically different with a whole lot of programmes being scrapped.

“Every student is forced to do a specialisation in one programme and an overwhelming importance is given to the foundation courses. The private and foreign university system has been imitated while implementing it and the current semester system and proposal to bring in the credit transfer method is an example of that,” says Nandita Narain, president, Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).

DUTA recently collected feedback on FYUP from students. As per the feedback received from Miranda House, Shri Ram College of Commerce and St Stephen’s College, nearly all students feel that the FYUP is failing to make productive use of their time. As a result, 91% students in Miranda House prefer to revert to the three-year programme while 90% students in SRCC feel the same. ABVP and DUTA have written to education minister Manish Sisodia to meet for a discussion.

“We visited several colleges to consult students and will be intensifying our protest over the next few days,” says Saket Bahuguna, state secretary, ABVP.

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