A group of teachers of IIT Delhi has submitted a proposal to the MHRD suggesting that the new batch of students be inducted at higher education institutions in January 2021 and face-to-face classes be put off for a year.
The proposal states that declaration of the upcoming autumn semester as a ‘zero semester’, would buy some time for the higher education institutions to complete the formalities for the current semester/academic year and also upgrade their infrastructure for online teaching. The delay of six months has been suggested as return of students to the classrooms can put teachers, other students and staff at risk. The group has also stated in the document that the time till January 2021 can be utilised to “pool resources and develop strategies for optimal online delivery and evaluation”.
The teachers assure that the lost academic time can be made up “within twelve to eighteen months of the end of the crisis through a combination of, the judicious use of existing online resources (such as NPTEL and Ekalavya), moving partly to the flipped mode of instruction, reduction of vacation periods, creating online resources for primary school students etc”.
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Nalin Pant, a chemistry professor at IIT-Delhi, who is a signatory of the proposal and a member of the institute’s Board of Governors, confirmed to The Indian Express that the document has been sent to the MHRD this month and has also been submitted to the IIT Council for consideration.
The proposal states, “The emphasis should be on ensuring that students in remote areas and poor connectivity are not left behind. For instance, such students could be asked to visit the nearest educational institution for online examinations. Central institutions like IITs, IISERs, Delhi Univ. etc should take the lead in this.”
Source: The Indian Express