Four Year Undergraduate Program for Revolutionizing Education System: Case Study on Delhi University Initiatives
Indian Education System is in mess; it might be because of regulations or might be because of the institutions and associates of those institutions but at least students are not a party in this mess creation. Our universities are not coming into top 200 list of higher education intuitions, however, 200 is not a benchmark but we have set for our satisfaction that at least we should come up with 200 lists that will satisfy our aspiration for now. University system is stabilized and static so much that it does not promote innovation and only encourage rot learning. Teachers are happy teaching with 30-year-old notes and they don’t see the real context while teaching the subjects. Universities are teaching how to remember which must have been how to learn and analyze in a scientific manner developing scientific temper as mentioned in our constitution. No or very less research component and no or very small updates in the curriculum as per the needs of the fast changing world and its challenges is the truth. In this process, one of the best university in India started taking initiatives to change education system towards practical orientation so that students learn the things by hands-on experience. This change was named FYUP- Four-year Undergraduate program. University made modification wherever it thought it was necessary starting from no of years, methodology, pedagogy, infrastructural changes, Faculty improvement, syllabus changes, and improvement in the state of art facilities, scholarships, financial aids and technology improvement for students. All this resulted in FYUP and it was a good program thought by eminent scholars of Delhi University which finished one year but could not contribute for the second years because of the political played into the game and discontinued. This article summarizes the most of the aspects of this time and also what is the actual picture and what was projected. Media was totally biased and has no understanding of the issues at all, they as in each case just play everything whole day without content with biased propaganda in these act as what to be achieved. A change is always criticized because some of us want status quo and some of us will go for the change because we don’t believe in status quo. I belong to later one.
As we all know that change is constant so it is better to contribute to making the change more effective and sustainable. In the past, we heard the hue and cry on Delhi university’s Four Year undergraduate program. Some are in favor and some are against. But before we reach any conclusion we must understand the facts and analysis them properly in present context.
The present system of higher education is in dire need of reforms. In every convocation last year, the Honorable president has mentioned not having any higher educational institution in top 200 or not in 500 lists from the world. There are various reports and statements on a public forum by industry experts that graduates are not skilled as per the requirement of the time and industry. They lack in Communications skills, Interpersonal Skills, and technical writing skills and logically and rationally understanding the core subject even after spending enough time in academics. This way we as a country losing on two aspects: wasting of time in higher educational institutions without utilizing time properly in productive and relevant activities and wastage of resources of the industry on training and learning programs to bridge the gap.At present situation is that Graduates are not empowered with skills and technical tools so that they can start innovation their own if they have any innovative idea. Students are still being taught to be a teacher only and not to be the one who can do research independently, set up business and provide employments that are why we are not able to see Microsoft and google from India because of lack of entrepreneurship skills. Talks have been going on for a long time to change the system as per the demand of the present time. This change could be course change, structure change, pedagogical changes, Innovative technology introduction, innovation technique adaptation or moving towards research-based system etc.
It is clear with the present situation that change is inevitable and must take place as soon as possible. Students from our countries, when given opportunity by other countries, are doing good and shining their name. It has become to know about the problems which can trigger the solutions in right direction and in a well-paced manner. Following are the triggers which can help us in this environment of reforms. Education must go away from teaching to the Education based on skills is important which can provide them employment and motivates them to become an entrepreneur. This will help India in a generation of more employment and companies to help Indian economy. Technology introduction in teaching and information delivery system is must which is not the case at present which lags us behind. Faculty assessment on the periodic basis is must so that remain up to date with the knowledge and based on the continuous evaluation and assessment, their promotion is done. University administration must provide the infrastructure in setting up internet base study centers and MOOCs. Financial aids and scholarships, students transfer among institutions which require the credit based systems and uniform framework for the education systems at least in central universities. Course updates and curriculum must be changed as per the skill requirement of industry and real life, society needs. There is no point in teaching what was written as per the needs and solutions of the society of previous decades.
The course structure is divided into four type of courses Foundation courses, Discipline course I, Discipline course II and Application course. Total eleven Foundation courses cover wide range of skill development starting from mathematical ability, Information technology and governance and public health. These courses introduce students with the daily to the daily aspect of life in society and practical solutions for them. Their reference books have been criticized for being introductory but the case is not so. University has given and mentioned those guidelines to cover minimum mentioned in the books and cover as per the demand of students and skills and their curiosity so the course is entirely dependent on the teacher who is teaching that foundation course to what level he can take up to. Each foundation course is of 75 marks in which only 20 marks are assigned to end semester ends examination rest of the marks 55 are evaluated on the continuous basis during the semester through group discussions, presentation and project report activities. These all are group activities in which peer to peer learning is encouraged. That’s why foundation courses help in developing team spirit, communication skills, Technical skills, interpersonal skills with a good knowledge of the foundation subject. Discipline course I is core subject course which is useful in academic work and preparing foundation in the chosen subject of the students as being done in the present Three-year program. It is decided at the time of admission. It is almost similar to the earlier three-year course with improved syllabus. It is also called major subject which helps students to prepare the foundation for a post-graduate program in that subject. Discipline course II is the second specialized subject which is chosen by the student after completion of the first year. It gives student choice to have the second choice for favorite subject depending on various criteria. It gives the opportunity to study second specialized subject for master program. Application courses are very important which start from the second year. Application courses are designed to requirements to bridge the gap between employment opportunities on the basis of discipline courses.It includes Industry oriented courses to create the ability to be employed. This entire course promotes group based activities and practical hands-on experience for students on continues basis thought semester. In the last year, students work on two projects one is a minor project and another one is whole duration research projects which inculcate research aptitude and encourage them to take up the career in research and development. The three-year program not only lacks in all round development of students but also it does not inculcate flexibility for the teacher as well as students. In TYUP there is only one-course specialization which lacks approach of interdisciplinary. Apart from this only activity students perform in each subject is the class test and assignment both of which are individual exercises which do not improve interpersonal skills, communication skills, and technical writing skills of students. Apart from this, there is no practical demonstration and application of the course and subject being taught which further reduces the employability of the students? TYUP does not have any research based activity which could inspire and nurture the feeling of finding something innovative. Hence in long run, it is just teaching oriented knowledge delivery system which is not suitable for present time as it requires knowledge generation where we need solution oriented approach.
Complete course cannot be wrong and duration can also not be the problem. The only problem which may be there is about the syllabus or the structure of the courses. So on this basis whole program cannot be wrong. Hence suggestion can be asked and implemented. We are now living in an integrated globalized world so our initiative should be such which does not make us cornered or isolated. There are so many universities in India and abroad in china, UAS, japan where the four-year course is running fine. So kindly take the decision of correction not of the scrapping the program. In twelfth year plan, and in Opening address in Lok Sabha Honorable president presented the idea of five years of NDA government about policies to be followed. This course is in complete coherence with the objective set and policies decided. This course moves education systems towards skilled India and research and innovation based learning. This course gives full justification to skill development, research, and innovation based course with great chances of employability. We cannot govern our education system with the rule we created in the sixties or seventies so. This is the excuse that it does not follow the national policy of three years undergraduate program. Change is very much required. As a stake holder in university I want to see this university going on top and performing well. In this order we need reforms and FYUP is one step in that direction which must not criticized and scrapped. If improvement is needed then a proper procedure can be followed and that can be done. I would request you to kindly look into these matter and don’t take your decision on the basis of these false protests going in university daily. I am hopeful that you will take the decision in the interest of University of Delhi and Indian higher education system.
University of Delhi: www.du.ac.in
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