“The date sheet is out. We are stressed. A lot has to be done. The syllabus is nowhere near completion. We are fed up of the extra classes.”
Such statements are assumed to be that of students. But, this time, the professors at Delhi University are the ones issuing them. Only 3 months back when everyone had just joined or returned to their college, the atmosphere was relaxed and chilled. No one had foreseen that the giant monster of Exams would catch up so soon. Just when the fuchchas were starting to like the college and the seniors started realizing that they actually are ‘seniors’, the date sheets were announced.
‘Lets-bunk-and-go-to-the-canteen’ is now ‘Lets-bunk-and-go-to-the-library’. Students have joined coaching classes near South Campus and are literally catching up with the syllabus. A leading newspaper recently reported that certain college professors are actually skimming through the entire syllabus and completing it just for the sake of it ignoring the concepts. The big question is not about managing the syllabus now, but why did this situation arise at all?
Here comes the tricky part, you can’t really peg the blame on one entity or body. There is a unanimous opinion that the semester systems is to blame, but let us not miss out the finer details. A student of B.Com Hons (1st Semester), on the condition of anonymity, says “Even though the syllabi is mammoth, there are discrepancies at the end of professors as well. DUTA strikes, long leaves, lack of dedication and the race to finish the syllabus before the others are the drawbacks.” Add to that, the fact that the college has admitted students in almost every course way beyond its capacity and natural factors like the approaching festival season and Dusshera-Diwali Holidays further magnifies the dilemma. There is severe time crunch and presently the professors are literally racing against time to finish the syllabi. Manu, BA Political Science Hons (1st Semester), says, “Barely 60-70 % of the syllabus is complete. I am sure we won’t be able to complete everything & eventually we’ll have to cover some topics by ourselves.” This opinion was reflected by other students as well.
Aakash, a student of B.A. English Hons (3rd Semester) says, “We have two books for our subjects. The first one has been done in detail but we are just flipping through the second one due to lack of time and the pressure to complete the syllabus at the earliest.” A Political Science professor, wishing to be unnamed, said that most arts subjects are intellectually challenging, and it’s essential to make them understand the topic by relating it to present day. Just sticking to the syllabus is never enough. However, he added that with the present system, where a teacher gets barely 3 months to cover 5 units, it
becomes impossible to even finish the syllabi, let alone encourage debates, discussions or case studies.
Nonetheless, certain courses have beaten time and are on the verge of completion. Journalism Hons (1st Semester) for example is comfortable in 3 of the 4 papers. With the examinations still about a month away, there are also certain students who are not worried but comfortable. All in all, the atmosphere is tense and charged. No one wants to see an ‘ER’ on their marks-sheet but is seriously apprehensive and doubtful about the same. Blaming the semester system or teachers or syllabi won’t work. For the short term, one has to study really hard and pray for a miracle. For the long term, the university must come up
with a foolproof system to ensure such a situation doesn’t arise again. For arts and commerce courses, there are around 3 weeks to prepare. Our heart goes out to the B.Sc. students who will be appearing for exams in the first week of November itself.