As I scratch my head making faces and staring into nothingness thinking about what to write on this time, my sister sits crouched making lists. She is moving to another city for work. Looking at her reminds me of how excited and anxious I had been when I moved out of home for college last year. That feeling of butterflies in the tummy and staring at the luggage bags, all that comes to me again. As monsoon is ushered in, so is the season of moving out of the comforts of home for college. I had always wanted to study at DU and I managed to make it through the hurdles. The happiness came with a bitter-sweet feeling, of leaving family behind and moving ahead, living on my own. There was anxiety in shopping, anxiety that filled me with self doubt and denial, anxiety thinking of rooms and roommates.
However, the real test of patience was through Delhi University’s introduction of the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP). A new experiment and we, I and my batch mates throughout the varsity were called the “guinea pigs”. At first there were talks and debates and then finally the confusion ended with the ushering in of a new system of college education with 4 years instead of the earlier 3 years for the undergraduate degree at DU. While a lot many students had declined to get admitted to this programme, most of students like me welcomed the change and went ahead for the admissions.
So far, the problems had merely involved debates and discussions. When students like me stepped into our colleges in Delhi, we realized this was much of a gamble with our futures. The protests had begun in the North campus and FYUP was taken as an agenda for the students’ union elections. We were stunned by the level of education that had degraded under the new system. Instead of 4 honors courses, we were studying just 2 with 4 irrelevant Foundation Courses that ranged from Hindi to IT; the students weren’t even given the freedom to choose their own foundation courses, subjects like Mathematics were imposed on students of the Humanities branch, History on Science stream and so on. Moreover, the level of curriculum was that of elementary level. Did graduation students expect to study in such miserable conditions? Except a few colleges, most of the colleges were drowned in a pool of confusion and chaos that extended for the first year of college. Massive protests erupted from every other college and their students’ unions. The quality of teaching and learning that DU was known for had degraded. And our future was at stake. We the middle and upper middle class students came from our far off home towns and felt cheated and betrayed by the renowned university.
This year again as the admission season begins, DU and FYUP is surrounded by controversies while our, the students’ future is hanging in the middle. Who is to be blamed? Who is to ensure some form of certainty to our futures? Whether the course is rolled back or not, the students are meant to suffer…What about the students who already spent a year studying under FYUP? And what about the students who seek admissions in the best university the country has? Who is to answer our questions about our future and careers?