School hours could be extended up to 8:00 PM: Delhi University VC at Idea exchange

DU is considering extending the teaching hours in its colleges from 8 am to 8 pm as a way to expand the number of seats, Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh said while addressing a session on Tuesday of exchange of ideas in The Indian Express.

When asked if expansion of student intake is planned for Delhi University, he said, “I am in favor of expansion and we will create new institutions in Delhi. But we should create more facilities facilities and infrastructure in existing institutions because this is easy to implement.”

Singh said one of the ways DU plans to explore this is by increasing teaching hours in colleges to accommodate a larger number of sections for a given programme.

“I believe that good institutions should operate from 8 to 8. With this, I think, we can easily admit one or two or three more sections of students. Right now, we are working from 8 to 5. We can easily improve the working hours from 8 to 8. The normal office hours will remain the same, 9 to 5 or 9 to 6. But classrooms and labs will start starting at 8 in the morning and ending at 8.00 p.m. to accommodate more sections and increase the number of places”, he said.

DU has around 70,000 sanctioned seats against which it conducts undergraduate admissions. The admission process for this course is still ongoing, although most of the admissions have been completed and the academic session for the newly admitted students began on November 2.

Singh said the university hopes to introduce these extended hours in some colleges at least from the next academic year. He said earlier that the aim of the university is to complete the recruitment process of regular teachers of the universities. According to him, there are 4,000 vacancies in the universities against which 500 teachers have been recruited in the past few months, and the university hopes to clear this backlog in “six months to a year”.

“It’s easily possible and doable. We don’t need additional infrastructure for it. It’s low-hanging fruit. We have teachers, but if an extra course is assigned to a teacher, we can pay an extra amount for that course. If it was really easy, would have done since this academic session but right now we are very busy with interviews. We want a good number in these institutions or else the principals say ‘we have so many vacancies, please fill them and in we’ll talk later,’” he said.

“From the next academic session, at least some of the colleges, I think, will be ready to implement it and we will have some more seats for our students,” he added.

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