Curriculum Review:an informal meeting at Deepak sir’s room
Posted by Gokul
In the first place, let me give a note of warning to all those cribbers like me who might get excited at the phrasing of the topic. So i l better explain the term ‘curriculum review’. Its an exercise done every three years or so in which radical changes like swapping an S6 subject and an S7 subject or deleting a module in a subject only for it to appear in some other subject are made in the curriculum. But this time, as Deepak sir put it, more people are thinking out of the box and still more have become receptive. Thus he said there is room for hope. Also considering the changes to be implemented in IIT B, we can expect real changes this time, he said. It is in this context that he called an informal meeting of students in his room one fine evening.
Our year was represented by four. Ullas (cribber like me, sick and tired of the system, doesnt mind speaking out), Srinath(pretty much tired, has reservations when it comes to speaking out), Tony(ok, this is one person whose is so difficult to understand…i think he also fed up with the system, but doesnt mind going with the stream..no cribbing i mean) and me. We(me and ullas) had everything planned before going for the meeting. Ask for the stars so that they might be benevolent to give atleast a photo of the moon. Voluntary attendance, 4 courses in a semester and one lab (2 hours), flexible electives and supplementary exams. Now thats too much in the bag, especially the first two points.
We were quite surprised to know that both the faculty in th room, Deepak sir and Dhanraj sir were thinking in line with us. Chk http://deepakwrites.blogspot.com/2009/03/engineering-education.html for confirmation. The second years were also strongly in favour of a radical change, although they didnt have a conspiracy like us as it was obvious in their lack of co-ordination.
Ok now everything is going so well. Although its almost sure nothing of this is going to be implemented as the system drags along with its ultimate curse of encouraging mediocrity, there were a bunch of dreamers envisioning a better future. Thats it guys, wake up…this is no fairy tale. If its not a fairy tale, then we have the villains. Yes i am talking about the final year delegation. They had entirely different plans in their minds. They found the system to be ‘too light’ on students. Six hard core subjects and two labs and a mini project in 65 working days were not enough for S6, they said while some of us are seriously contemplating on beginning an ascetic life after going through such a semester. One of them argued that as we will be in the academic area during the morning anyways, we will be jobless for at least two hours a day if our 4 course plan is implemented. Our natural choices of going back to the hostel to sleep or going to the library to read the newspaper were mysteriously evading him.
Deepak sir had a hard time moderating such a discussion when the two groups poles apart. I am not being judgemental with this article. But we represented the attitude of at least 90 percent of the students while they a handful. What we argued for was a flexible system in which students can chose courses according to their priorities. Reduce the minimum credit requirement so that we can use the free time to pursue our passions and get credit for those. For some it might be taking up challenging courses offered by their department or some other department or maybe spending time in the library reading current affairs or maybe devote more time for extra curriculars improving their chances of winning laurels outside college. In any case, credits should be given to the work done during this extra time, if its constructive. No credits for sleeping off, although its really constructive for ones body and mind. That not only avoids uninterested students forcefully studying boring subjects but also make campus life more interesting and fruitful.