FYUP or no FYUP ?

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”-Nelson Mandela

The pioneers of various new education policies and innovators who have brought about changes in the system with their “knowledge” and “hard work” would say that I am a novice and have no authority to say anything. Well, that is indeed very true. I am a novice and do not have any authority. But at the same time I am a citizen of the world’s biggest democracy which imparts the freedom of expression to all it’s citizens, without any discrimination whatsoever.

The education system in India is highly jumbled up. No one knows which policies would benefit the system and which ones are useless. For example, the implementation and now the scraping off of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme of Delhi University. I was never a supporter of the FYUP not only because I am one of the students of the first batch of the programme, but also because I found it principally wrong. The wrong was not the extra year that we have to spend doing our graduation. What I find extremely inappropriate is the way the courses were designed, the time span in which the syllabus was decided for each course, and the lack of debate, discussions and consent from all the stakeholders. The decision was taken too quickly. The teachers were not equipped to handle courses like IMBH. When we joined college, 80% of our classes were dedicated to the “Foundation Courses” whose books had the syllabus of class 8th and 9th. Moreover, the final paper was of 20 marks and had very general questions which had nothing to do with the “books” ! And rest of the marks were in the hands of the teachers. How well you score in a particular Foundation Course depended on your relation with the teacher and your degree of chamchagiri ! We practically got no time for our Discipline Course and were scorned and nagged by everyone as “the unlucky batch”, “the ones who came without CATE and have no background for literature”, “the ones who scored enough marks to get into English honours but with no knowledge about it” and the list of such wonderful sayings that we are used to listening can go on and on. I want to ask those very honourable people is it our fault that this FYUP system was implemented in our batch ? Presumably, no. Then why do we get cursed ?

Inspite of all this accusations and allegations, we somehow completed our “First year” . Now the admission procedure for the second batch of FYUP is about to start. A few days before the cut off lists were to be released, the esteemed Director of UGC writes a letter to Delhi University which says that the admissions are to be done under Three Year Undergraduate Programme and not FYUP ! The letter also says that the students who have already completed one year under FYUP will also complete their degree in 3 years and that the course has to be restructured in such a way that everything can be accommodated accordingly, otherwise Delhi University will not get any UGC grants ! 

I find it wrong not because I am one of them but because it is ethically wrong. One year has already gone. Students who took admissions in B.Tech courses last year might have to do with a B.Sc. degree. Moreover, this decision comes at such a point of time when it is not  possible for those students to take admissions anywhere else and if they wish to go anywhere else then they have to waste another year which practically is not feasible. Also, the time wasted for the Foundation Courses could have been utilized to give the students a better knowledge of their Discipline Course.

I just hope a lot of thinking and brain-straining is done before any decision is implemented because it is going to effect the lives of thousands of young people who are the future of India. For India to enter the league of developed nations, it is necessary that it’s youth gets a good education. Benjamin Franklin has rightly said in this context-“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

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