New Delhi: The Undergraduate Curriculum Framework will result in a "unprecedented" reduction in workload for the English department, according to over 450 English teachers at Delhi University who have written to DUTA president A K Bhagi pleading for him to intervene and restore it (UGCF).
Teachers from different DU colleges said in a letter to the president of the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) that the UGCF specifically targets the English department for a drastic decrease, roughly equivalent to one-third of its current workload.
The National Education Policy-compliant UGCF-2022 was accepted by the Delhi University Executive Council in February. Teachers disagree with the UGCF's planned organisational structure because they claim that the Ability Enhancement Courses (AEC) are only available in languages listed in the Constitution's Eighth Schedule, which excludes 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 expressed a number of issues in the letter, including the elimination of the core English courses from the BA/B.Com programmes and the lack of an English option in AEC courses. The teachers drew attention to the fact that the UGCF framework specifies that AEC courses are only offered in the languages listed in VIII Schedule, which excludes 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.
The lecturers also pointed out that the fundamental English language papers taught in the first four semesters of the existing CBCS courses had been eliminated from the BA/B.Com programmes' UGCF structure. The instructors further stated that the planned UGCF structure does not account for the fact that English is taught to pupils up until the 12th grade as a required language across the nation, as opposed to the choice of taking any other language for their Class 12 exam. The teachers have urged Bhagi to guarantee that English will continue to be offered as an AEC course and a Core Language in BA and BCom programmes.
"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.
More than 400 English lecturers at Delhi University wrote to vice chancellor Yogesh Singh in March of this year to express their concern that the UGCF's implementation from the 2022–23 academic session will "massively diminish" their department's workload and result in job losses. They demanded that their department's workload be reinstated.