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New GU course dubbed ‘too radical’

Guwahati, Nov 30: Gauhati University’s proposed curriculum seems to have run into rough weather with teachers from affiliated colleges voicing serious reservations about the manner in which the university is trying to implement the “revolutionary and radical” new system from the 2013-14 session.

The reservations are not against the proposed changes or introduction of new subjects, because that is being done according to the changing global market scenario, but against the “inadequacies” of the existing system to cope with the revised curriculum.

The Assam College Teachers’ Association has voiced its concern and so have the members of the university’s academic council, which has allegedly not met since December 2011.

Faculty members told The Telegraph that there will be too much load on the students and teachers to complete major courses in only three semesters. Moreover, there are no specialised teachers to teach new subjects as no post has been created since 1992.

There is also concern about how a one-stream college can cope with the changes. For example, how can commerce or science college teach specialised subjects such as culture and history or yoga? This will lead to confusion and anxiety among both students and faculty.

Only last year the university introduced the semester system. It should have waited for at least one cycle (six semesters) because both faculty and students are yet to get acclimatised to the semester system. It should have been reviewed before introducing another change, a faculty member said.

ACTA general secretary Biswajit Bhuyan, told The Telegraph that the association have sent a two-page missive to the Academic Registrar this afternoon which says they are not opposed to the curriculum being revised but are definitely opposed to the manner in which it is being implemented.

“We want everything like infrastructure, manpower for new subjects, teacher orientation, sorted out before the curriculum is implemented. Or else we fear that it may boomerang. We oppose any such move which is only a change for the sake of change,” Bhuyan said.

Besides ACTA’s formal reservations against the revised curriculum, which it has dubbed as “too radical”, the Kamrup Zone A unit is organising a workshop in association with the K.C. Das Commerce College here tomorrow afternoon to “discuss and debate” the issue. All stakeholders have been invited, said unit secretary Bedabrata Saikia.

Vice-Chancellor O.K. Medhi told The Telegraph: “We have an open mind. The curriculum has not seen such drastic changes in fifty years. Both students and faculty will benefit from it. We are open to suggestions from all stakeholders,” Medhi said.