After many controversies and debates, the semester system of University of Delhi (DU) has finally been initiated and the courses have been revised. But Barkatullah Khan, head of geography department, DU still does not agree with the semester system and gives his views over the drawbacks of semester system.
Khan explains, “Under the semester system, although classes started on July 15, admissions are still incomplete and colleges are not clear on what they should teach.” Since the system is new, nobody knows what should be the correct way to approach the system and the exams have to be conducted in December. Moreover, the vacations of 20-25 days will neither the teachers will have enough time to complete the course nor the students will have enough time to prepare well. This was not the case in annual mode, where both the teachers and the students had ample time to complete their respective jobs, insists Khan.
Unlike the annual mode, none of the college under semester system has initiated extra classes uptil now and with the recent implementation of OBC quota (27%) and the already existing quota for SC/ST and physically challenged students together add up to 50%. According to Khan, “most students in the reserved category require special attention. No college has yet conducted extra or special classes for these students, which used to be part of the annual mode - the reason for which is paucity of time. The strength of these students is half of the total student strength, which is a significant number. They are thus bound to suffer in such a system.”
With the semester system in place, it will become difficult for teachers to announce results on time. This is because the work load of the teachers will be double now as the results will have to be taken out in every six months and also revaluation will be there which make it even more difficult for the teachers to declare results on time.
According to Khan, under the annual mode, the students used to get time to participate in co-curricular activities which are as important as studies for the children to showcase their talent. But now, even if they wish to participate they cannot do so as they will miss out their classes and the university has not provided any relaxation on attendance for students.
Khan says, “I feel that students are the worst victims of the semester system and not enough is being done for them. Besides, the hurriedly made syllabus of geography for the semester system has resulted in the removal of some vital areas of the subject like topics on human geography components, which are extremely important and contemporary in nature. There is need to improve the whole learning process and in my opinion the decision-makers should take a call and revisit this whole issue of semesterisation."