Delhi University's notification on batch sizes for UG, PG courses triggers backlash from teachers' associations

According to the notification released to colleges on November 11, the DU has fixed 60 students per batch for lectures, 30 for tutorials and 25 for practical classes in undergraduate programmes. For postgraduate courses, the numbers per batch are 50, 25 and 15-20, respectively.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, November 17, 2022, 01:56 AM IST
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New Delhi: Delhi University has notified the number of students in each batch for undergraduate and postgraduate courses, a move that has drawn flak from teachers' organisations for what they called bigger-than-ideal batch sizes.

According to the notification released to colleges on November 11, the DU has fixed 60 students per batch for lectures, 30 for tutorials and 25 for practical classes in undergraduate programmes. For postgraduate courses, the numbers per batch are 50, 25 and 15-20, respectively.

Registrar Vikas Gupta said the university came up with the rule to observe uniformity in the teacher-student ratio across all the programmes it offers.

These numbers do not include the supernumerary seats, which constitute five per cent of the total strength, and are allocated to students from sports and other quotas.

"The college may decide on mentor and mentee group size as per the relevant provisions of the University Grants Commission's regulations as applicable from time to time," the notification read.

Terming the notification "completely ridiculous", Democratic Teachers Front (DTF) and said it defies the norms adopted by the Delhi University's academic council as part of the Learning Outcome Based Curriculum Framework (LoCF).

In a statement, DTF said the LoCF course work adopted by the university in 2019 clearly describes "eight-10 students as an ideal size of tutorial groups" so that the varying needs of diverse types of students could be met.

"The notification, which will redefine teaching-learning environment, has been issued without any deliberation in statutory bodies. This is despite the fact that the academic council meeting is scheduled for November 22. If these workload norms are implemented, it will impact quality of teaching-learning severely," it said.

"Similarly, LoCF very clearly states that the lab group size should be of 12 students. Why does the DU administration want to dilute these well thought out norms that have been perfected through many decades of academic functioning?" the front said.

Action and Development Delhi Teachers' Association (AADTA), the Aam Aadmi Party's national teachers' organisation, has demanded that the notification be withdrawn.

"The tutorials size has increased by around 300 per cent and thus become very much classroom-like. This will severely compromise the quality of education. It is also to reduce the requirement of teachers, which in turn will reduce the quality of education," it said in a statement.

AADTA said thousands of teachers have been working on an ad hoc and temporary basis and they should be hired full time to meet the demand.

"These notifications have bypassed the statutory bodies: academic and executive councils," it added.

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