On June 10, 2023, a notice was released for DU resolution on the teacher-student ratio, by the Executive Council of Delhi University. The resolution allows for larger class sizes for general elective papers in undergraduate programmes.
The DU resolution on the teacher-student ratio has been passed by the VC (Yogesh Singh), even though some of the members were strongly against it, but he used his Emergency powers about that. And this resolution has remained a controversial issue for a long time.
Increasing the Class Sizes – Change in Teacher-Student Ratio
As per the recently issued DU resolution on the teacher-student ratio, the class size, practicals, and tutorials can vary from 48 to 72, 24 to 36 and 20 to 30 respectively. And this time as well the colleges will have to somehow manage such massive strength of students.
And if we keenly study the teacher-student ratioat Delhi University, it has very bad trends and the no. of teachers per student has only declined.
Opposition to DU resolution on the teacher-student ratio
Three members raised strong opposition to this matter and they claimed that this decision will lead to a degradation in the quality of education and knowledge to be imparted to Students. And they said that the VC is misusing his powers given by Statute 11G, which enables the VC to take extraordinary decisions in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Also in a dissent note, they said “Although the meetings to be held were already fixed, notifications that were released on 16th May 2023 and 1st May 2023 from about 8 AM to 8 PM show, were not at all in line with democratic statutory processes”.
Further in a dissent note the three members of the EC who were against the resolution on the teacher-student ratio, mentioned that the resolution is “undemocratic” and “will hurt the quality of education at Delhi University.”
The members have also said that the resolution was passed without proper consultation with the faculty and students. They have called for the resolution to be withdrawn. The university administration has said that it will consider the dissent note and take a decision on the matter.
In the last month’s resolution, the class size was capped at 60 and 30 for lectures and tutorials respectively.
What Should be the Appropriate Class Size?
Under the new resolution, the class size for general elective papers can range from 20 to 60 students. The class size for tutorials and practicals will remain the same with 20 to 30 students.
The Notification, which was released on 16th May 2023, said that it will be up to the college and department to increase or decrease the class size by 20 per cent. Also, the class size for the various additional courses and the skill enhancement courses was also fixed and a range of 20 to 60 is acceptable.
And in the May 16th resolution, the class size for general elective papers can range from 20 to 60 students. The class size for tutorials and practicals will remain the same with 20 to 30 students.
Also, the EC said that for classes which are practical or to be held in the laboratory, arrangements should be made such that they have to be used in the best optimal manner possible.
Last year in November 2022, also a notification was passed about this issue, and at that time they had increased the class size for practicals and tutorials to 25 and 30 respectively. And before November 2022 it was as less as 10 to 12 for tutorials and 12 to 15 for practicals.
And the notification issued in May 2016 is even more skewed, the EC members said. And is resulting in a downside for students of Delhi University.
Students’ Reaction to Change in Teacher-Student Ratio
The Student’s reaction concerning DU resolution on the teacher-student ratio is varied. The increase in class size has been met with mixed reactions.
Some students have welcomed the move, saying that it will allow them to learn from a wider range of teachers. Others have expressed concern that the larger class size will make it difficult for students to get individual attention from their teachers.
Reasons behind the Change in Teacher-Student Ratio
The DU resolution on the teacher-student ratio to increase the class size is part of a larger plan to address the issue of overcrowding at Delhi University. In recent years, the university has seen a sharp rise in the number of students applying for admission. This has led to overcrowded classrooms and a shortage of teachers.
The university has taken several steps to address the issue of overcrowding, including increasing the number of colleges and offering online courses. However, the problem of overcrowding remains a major challenge for the university.
The EC’s decision to increase the class size is likely to have a significant impact on the quality of education at Delhi University. It remains to be seen whether the university will be able to provide quality education to a large number of students.
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