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Over 450 Teachers Write To DUTA President, Urge Him To Intervene To Restore Workload Of English Department

The teachers have appealed to Bhagi to ensure that English remains an AEC course and also a Core Language course in BA and B.Com courses.

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Over 450 English teachers of the Delhi University have written to DUTA president File Photo

Over 450 English teachers of the Delhi University have written to DUTA president A K Bhagi, urging him to intervene and restore the workload of the English department which they said will suffer "unprecedented" loss due to the implementation of the Undergraduate Curriculum Framework (UGCF).

In the letter to the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) president, the teachers from various DU colleges claimed that the UGCF singles out the English department for a massive reduction, almost in the range of one-third of its existing workload.

Bhagi said DUTA is already seized of the matter and has taken steps to ensure that no teacher is allowed to be removed or dislodged in the name of workload reduction due to FYUP.

He, however, alleged that a group of teachers led by a DUTA executive member had sent the letter to him via email without discussing the matter with him. He also accused the group of choosing to go for a signature campaign rather than helping in resolving the issue.

In the letter, the teachers listed their several concerns regarding UGCF, including no option of English in AEC courses and removal of core English courses from BA/B.Com Programmes.

The Delhi University's Executive Council in February approved UGCF-2022 formulated in accordance with the National Education Policy.

Teachers have opposed the proposed structure of the UGCF, saying that the Ability Enhancement Courses (AEC) are offered only in the languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and that does not include English.

"We note with alarm that the proposed structures of UGCF single out the English department in particular for a massive reduction, almost in the range of one-third of its existing workload. This will lead to a loss of livelihood for the hundreds of ad-hoc teachers teaching for years in the English departments across the University of Delhi," the letter read.

The teachers pointed out that the UGCF structure says that AEC courses are offered only in the languages included in VIII Schedule and that does not include English.

"This replaces the existing CBCS structure where English and Hindi/MIL are both offered as options for students in AECC," the letter read.

"With the removal of English as an option in AEC, English departments across the university are staring at a drastic reduction of workload. Colleges like Kirori Mal and Ramjas have lost 60+ lectures while Hansraj, Shaheed Bhagat Singh (M) and others have lost more than 50 lectures next semester. Hence this decision threatens the livelihood of all the ad-hoc teachers working in the English departments across the university," the letter read.

Moreover, the teachers noted that the UGCF structure of BA/B.Com Programmes has removed the core papers of English language offered in the first four semesters of the existing CBCS courses.

The teachers also notified that the proposed UGCF structure does not take into account that students study English till Class XII as a compulsory language across the country, as against the option of any other language in their Class XII exam.

The teachers have appealed to Bhagi to ensure that English remains an AEC course and also a Core Language course in BA and B.Com courses.

"This will protect the existing workload of English departments, while also crucially safeguarding the livelihood of hundreds of ad-hoc teachers working in English departments across the University," the letter read.

"Let us not forget that despite giving their best years to the profession in this University, the ad-hoc teachers are currently battling the pressures of uncertainty and are at the receiving end of the damages that these academic changes portend," it added.

In a statement, Bhagi said that due to constant persuasion of DUTA and elected AC members, the DU administration and HoD English have assured that the loss of workload due to AECC would be covered by adding a practical component and language component is added for two semesters. 

"I received a letter from a DUTA executive member mentioning the names of 451 teachers regarding the reduction in UG workload of the English Department. The DUTA executive member and his group members who have sent me the email never discussed this important issue with me. This group choose to go for a signature campaign than helping in resolving the issue," the statement read.

In March this year, more than 400 English teachers of Delhi University had written to Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh, saying the workload of their department will be “massively reduced” due to the implementation of the UGCF from 2022-23 academic session and would lead to a loss of livelihoods. They demanded that the workload of their department be restored.

(With PTI inputs)

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