Published: 15th May 2019
Students shocked as new UoH prospectus states they have to clear arrears to be promoted to next semester
The Ambedkar Students' Union has written to the administration saying the new clause will put extra pressure on students especially from marginalised communities
The University of Hyderabad has added a new clause in their prospectus that states that students who don't clear their backlogs in the first two years will not be able to register for the next semester. Claiming that this was the very reason why some students in the past had committed suicide, the Ambedkar Students' Association has submitted a representation to the administration requesting for the clause to be removed. Previously the students were not alloted a fixed time to clear their backlogs, they only had to have passed 50 percent of the courses to move to the next semester.
The clause mentioned at 5(c) of Teaching and Evaluation Regulation mandates Integrated Masters in Science (IMSc) students to clear all their backlogs during their first two years and the Integrated Masters in Arts (IMA) students to clear their them in the first three years. Failing which their registration into the next semester would be stopped. The students pointed out that the new clause is in contradiction of Clause 6(b) which permits students to clear 50 percent of courses in a semester.
Recalling the suicides of two Dalit students, Senthil Kumar and Pulyala Raju, the ASA said that it was failures in examinations that had caused their deaths. "The University has not only witnessed but also observed in its reports on Senthil Kumar and Puyala Raju as to how the anxieties were caused to students in failures in examinations and non-promotion to a higher grade semester."
The ASA quoted the petition submitted by teachers in the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on the issue of suicides in the state — We believe that the suicides are the top of the iceberg of many problems the student community especially Dalits and other maginalised students experience....Failure has a specific meaning for these students. Due to many reasons "discontinuing" and going back home is not a viable option for poor, rurla students, who may choose death over a future in which they must stare at their inability to provide for miserably poor families that have stacked everything to educate them. In many cases they were also the academic 'toppers' in their village or community and the ignominy of returning as failures would also be unbearable.
In this case, the High Court had directed institutes to handle problems of students from marginalised sections in a more sensible manner.
The statement also discusses the problems that are specific to students from the integrated stream. "A student might be made to attend Mathematics which they might not have studied in their intermediate courses. A student of Economics who is trained in economic, business administration and commerce is mandated to undergo training in mathematics, a subject they are introduced to after a gap of two years of intermediate education," the ASA President, Gidla Samson said in the statement.
"Added to this is the problem of language, standards of teaching and the socio-cultural environment would also result in failures," they statement read. The ASA also pointed out that the additive course of a compulsory foundation course is also not an easy one as just one faculty handles over a 100 students.