The bustling campuses of Delhi Universities were going to be jolted by the up surging tides of a high court order suggesting a semester pattern of examination. Not very happy with the decision, the resentment can be sensed lurking around in and around campuses all over Delhi. The semester system has received mixed reviews from all over the academic circle.
A third year student from one of the esteemed colleges of DU puts forward the argument that it is hard for a third year student to immediately suit himself or herself into a semester mode. She also feels that Commerce is too wide a course to be divided into semesters and that it constrains the faculty as well as the students. This ideology is also shared by the teachers who were found sitting in protest in the month of October resulting in loss of classes and delayed exams. Even after severe threats of retracting their salaries, most of the teachers were firm on their stand and continued with the DUTA strike.
On the other hand, the academic councils believe that the semester system should be given a chance before passing on any judgment and calling for protest. The whole idea behind it is probably to bring Delhi university students at par with the global lot. And it is expected that such a system will bring more uniformity and structure to the curriculum. Delhi University is more of a tradition than just a learning institute since its establishment in 1922; introducing a change to such a strongly established pedagogy was bound to meet repulsion. “The very atmosphere in the campus was what separated it from the other lot, the hustle –bustle of fests, street plays, gigs, freshers, active theatre groups, social activities, self help groups; everything that was permitted because their course was structured in such a way. Now everything will be affected as the main emphasis lies on completion of syllabus”, says an active member of a cultural club in DU.
What’s ironical is that the structure of the semester was designed in the pre-industrial era, keeping in mind the labor intensive harvesting units. This system enabled the students in harvesting crops in summers along with continuing their studies in a regular fashion. The rest of the year was planned keeping in mind Christmas and Easter holidays. The same tradition has trickled down the historical pavements from Europe to campuses in Delhi. This will definitely mark a major turn of events in the history of educational reforms after the grading system in 10th CBSE boards and also making them optional for students. This general trend is streamlining students with the rest of the world but I hope what should not be lost is the free spirited air in DU campuses which is untouched of the constrained walls of semester bound circuits. I believe the resentment will subside with time and the students as well as the teachers will get a hang of the semester system, and how they still come up with an alternate survival strategy, is a must watch.