– Mita Mukherjee
Students of Presidency University in Kolkata on Thursday demanded the authorities to ensure that classes for the first semester students of undergraduate and postgraduate courses are held for minimum 16 weeks as recommended by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Regular online classes for the undergraduate first semester students of most departments of the university had started from mid-December, leaving only 10 weeks for them to cover the syllabus, the students said. The first semester students of the postgraduate departments will get only eight weeks because their classes started only in January.
The first semester examinations are slated in March.
Classes for the incoming first-year students of the undergraduate and postgraduate courses started late this time because the admission process got delayed due to Covid-19.
Members of the Presidency University students’ union today wrote to senior officials of the university including vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia and registrar Debajyoti Konar demanding extension of the duration of the odd semester in order to avail of more time to prepare for their examinations.
Debnil Paul, a first semester postgraduate student of history department said it won’t be possible for them to complete the syllabus before the examinations. They will not be able to perform well in the examinations which will subsequently affect their career in future.
“Reducing the syllabus can be an option. But extensive reduction of the syllabus is not desirable at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. We will face difficulties in cracking competitive examinations and doing higher studies in future if we don’t study all the topics thoroughly now,” Paul told EducationWorld.
He said the campus is closed since March last year and students still don’t have access to the university libraries and laboratories.
“It has become more difficult for students to study the topics thoroughly in the absence of library and other facilities,” said Paul.
The students said they were hopeful that the authorities would accept their demand and extend the duration of the semester.
Registrar, Debajyoti Konar said that different academic committees of the university were regularly monitoring the students’ activities and their problems.
“ We will ensure that our students don’t suffer. Appropriate measures will be taken if we find that students are facing a problem,” Konar told EducationWorld.
The students in their letter made it clear that completing the syllabus within a short would be a problem and shortening the syllabus was also not a solution.
“This is quite a problem, as the syllabus would inevitably remain incomplete or it would be shortened. Either way, it would be problematic for the students. It is important that the topics prescribed in the syllabus are thoroughly complete, as it is required in the competitive exams,” the letter read.
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