New Delhi, Aug 18 IANS | 2 years ago

Around 117 teachers, in a signed statement released Sunday, expressed disappointment with the interaction that Delhi University Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh held with them Aug 14 on the new foundation courses.

"It cannot be termed an interaction, it was purely a monologue by the VC. It was an orchestrated public relations exercise to ensure that the VC can once again claim that he 'interacted ' with thousands of teachers and heard their views," Sanam Khanna, a teacher at Kamla Nehru College, told IANS.

The teachers mentioned in the statement that the interaction lasted a mere 20 minutes, and only a few of them were allowed to speak.

"Among the nine teachers allowed to speak, three were those who had written the texts of the foundation courses. So obviously, the method of choosing the questions was not transparent," Khanna said.

"Despite being termed an 'interaction' the better part of the event was taken up by the VC's hour long speech on his 'vision' of the FCs (foundation courses) and how they are to be taught. Through a video conference with students from three colleges who were asked workbook style questions that the FC texts carry, and the promise of the 'rewards' of foreign training trips to teachers who could prove their innovativeness in the teaching of these courses, the VC sought to foretell the success of the FYUP (four-year undergraduate programme) through the FCs," the statement said.

The teachers alleged that the vice-chancellor was engaging in a desperate public relations exercise, to "quell surging public criticism" as media reports had shown the new courses in poor light.

Teachers and students have expressed both puzzlement and concern at the foundation courses, made mandatory for all students entering the undergraduate programme at the university, starting this academic year.

(Posted on 18-08-2013)