After series of controversy garnered by Delhi University over spate of decisions linked with admissions, counseling and other areas of governance, it is time for one of its constituent colleges to attract its own share of ire from teacher’s community.
Dyal Singh College, located in south campus has decided to take feedback from students on the performance of teachers in classrooms with an aim to improve to performance in classrooms.
According to information provided by its principal I S Bakshi, “The Governing Body (GB) of the college decided to constitute a committee to draft a proforma to collect feedback from students about conduct of classes, tutorials and practical.” The college decided to form a committee to prepare a method to collect feedback after the GB decided to initiate the process of collecting feedback.
The committee consists of the principal, three members from the GB, and a teacher representative to work on the initiative.
This feedback method is similar to the suggestion given by the recent UGC regulation which also recommended a student feedback linked to promotion of teachers but was rolled back after series of protests by Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA). This was also pointed by the teachers in Dyal Singh College who have protested and criticized the move on various grounds like compromising with the independence of teachers and fear of reprisal in case of refusal on part of teachers to kowtow with the college authorities.
In fact, teachers, it seems are not averse to the idea of feedback per se if impartiality could be guaranteed. According to Naveen Gaur, a teacher of Physics at the college, “I am not opposed to taking feedback but this move is flawed. It could be affected by caste, gender, class and other factors. It can initiate a tradeoff between students and teachers.”
In similar vein, another teacher said, “Students can blackmail teachers for not being lenient with attendance and marking by giving us negative feedback. The staff association is going to take up the matter in its meeting.”
The aim of this feedback mechanism is to raise pertinent issues such as inability of teachers to follow the time table and absence of more than 50 percent of students from the class.
In lieu with accepted trends, the feedback would be taken incognito i.e. the identity of students would remain confidential to ensure fair response, the principal said. Regarding the concern of the teachers, he added that the idea behind the feedback mechanism was to improve the academic atmosphere of the college.