Delhi University helps teachers, students with short term coursesAugust 17th, 2008 - 11:41 am ICT by IANS
By Azera Rahman
New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Reaching out with a helping hand to its teachers and students, Delhi University has been conducting a number of short-term courses to help them cope with university life and beyond. One such course in the pipeline is the academic administration course for teachers. A.K. Bakshi, director of the Institute of Lifelong Learning (ILL) and a professor of chemistry at the university, said this was one course which he would like to see getting implemented soon.
“To teach and to hold an administrative post are two different experiences altogether. Many times when a teacher who has been in the profession for ages is promoted to an administrative post, it becomes a challenging task,” Bakshi said.
“This is why I think a course like this, which will basically help a teacher cope with the new portfolio and train him or her, starting with the most senior teachers first because they are most likely to get promoted first into such a post, would be helpful. Since DU conducts so many short-term courses from time to time, I think this, if implemented, will be great,” he told IANS.
The university is starting an English proficiency course for its students this September. Aimed at helping students improve their communication skills which will help them write their reports and boost their confidence while appearing for job interviews, the course will be for a duration of 100 hours spread over four months.
“The university officials felt that if professors of the university can help students, whether at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, improve their language skills, then they needn’t go to some coaching centre.
“The university will charge a minimal fee of Rs.2,500 for the entire course. Forty students have already signed up for the course and now many university staff have also come up to us to conduct similar courses for them,” said Bakshi, who is also director of the Centre for Professional Development in Higher Education (CPDHE).
Besides these, DU conducts certificate, diploma and postgraduate diploma courses in banking and financial services for its students. Having signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ICICI Bank last year, the university regularly conducts these courses for commerce students who then get jobs in the bank.
ILL was set up by DU last year to promote e-learning which would supplement classroom teaching. With animation, visuals, virtual labs and audio clippings, the e-learning material is currently being prepared for 10 subjects at the undergraduate level and should be uploaded in ILL’s portal in a month.
“There are some professors whose lectures in a particular subject are considered the best. ILL has taken the initiative of having video lectures of those professors in our labs so that all students can take advantage of his or her lectures,” he said.
Talking more about the short-term courses, Bakshi said that the university officials are working on a faculty development course by which teachers, especially senior teachers who are not very tech savvy, will be trained in technological skills.
“The faculty development course will constitute short-term, need-based courses which will help teachers keep pace with the present times and understand the needs of their new age students,” he said.