Published: 04th February 2023
With upcoming exams, DU students upset over New Assessment Policy; protests held
The decision to increase the weightage of internal marks for the first-year was taken in an Academic Council meeting
Is it a good idea to give more weightage to internal assessments for UG degrees in colleges? The answer may be debatable. But Delhi University (DU) decided to implement such a measure, and it was announced yesterday, February 3, that out of 160 marks, internal assessments will carry 70 marks, for the first-year exam. The move, however, has not gone down well with the students.
"The first-year exams are due in about 10-15 days. It is unfair to introduce such a move in the middle of the semester," says Manik Gupta, President of DU AISA (All India Students' Association). He additionally informs that the decision was taken by the varsity's National Education Policy (NEP) Cell in an Academic Council meeting which took place yesterday.
With the new scheme, the internal assessment now includes multiple components such as different assessments for lectures and tutorials. A member of the Academic Council pointed out that the present proposal for the assessment pattern intends to make a major increase in the continuous evaluation and internal assessment, as per a report by PTI. "This is a major shift whereby the teacher who is taking the course is supposed to give a substantial portion of marks to be counted in the total marks," the teacher said.
This shows that even the teachers are not satisfied with the changes. As per PTI, the Academic Council members told that the changes were proposed a month ago but many of them had opposed it, after which it was supposed to be modified. However, it was presented as it was at the recent Academic Council meeting.
Manik informed that most of the students were already unhappy with the introduction of FYUP (Four Year Undergraduate Programme). "Nothing was done to prepare the students beforehand for the change. It was suddenly introduced. And during the semester, no proper classes were conducted. Now, the New assessment Policy is an attempt at compensation for the classes, since students tend to do well in internal tests. But it is a disadvantageous step," the student said.
"This scheme is just another step in the series of irrational measures introduced under the NEP 2020 that aim to degrade the state of public-funded educational institutions. It should be noted that the new scheme will not only reduce the weightage of the end-semester exam but will also severely dilute the degree. This has raised serious concerns among the students," reads a press statement from KYS (Krantikari Yuva Sangathan).
Meanwhile, another press release from AISA says, "This policy also gives arbitrary power to individual teachers to determine the marks and futures of the students. In most colleges, this scheme will put a tremendous burden on students, who will be taking these assessments for 7 different papers for completion and evaluation of their IA (Internal Assessment) and CA (Continous Assessment)."
Members of AISA organised a protest after they were informed of the Council's decision. Students burnt copies of the draft of the New Assessment Policy in fifteen colleges of DU. "We held the campaign in the North, South and off-campuses. About 25-30 students from each college were present, and in total over 400 students participated," Manik said.
He added that some of the colleges tried to stop them, while a few other colleges called the police on spot, who warned the protesters. However, the students kept at their campaign. Today, on February 4, there is no protest taking place in the university, but in the upcoming days, AISA is planning to submit a memorandum about the Assessment Policy to the administration. "We are also planning class campaigns and a mass gathering in front of the Academic Block in the North Campus," Manik stated.
KYS, on the other hand, submitted a memorandum to DU Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh yesterday. Bhim Kumar, a member of the organisation says, "Since the first-year exams are about to start, we do not expect a response soon. But if we don't hear from the administration after 15 days, or no step is taken during that time, we will plan a protest."
He added that KYS was planning a protest tomorrow, February 5, regarding some other exam-related matters. Bhim claims that the SOL (School of Open Learning) students had not received proper study materials and classes were not properly conducted for them, which makes it difficult for them to write the exams.
"A few students from English and Political Science also had their admissions cancelled recently. The administration said that they hadn't obtained enough marks for the subjects in their Class XII exams. But if so, why were they given admission and why is it being revoked now when the exams are so close?" he questions, and adds, "Taking up all these issues, we will organise a protest."