By Sanjukta Das Bhowmick
Calcutta University, was established on 24 January, 1857, and the first institution that was recognised as a multidisciplinary and a secular university.
However, unfortunately, the most prestigious university in the country that is educating stalwarts, refuses to leave its puritan underpinnings and mould itself according to the times.
The university is in desperate need to upgrade its syllabus and introduce new teaching methods, recognise the need for critical thinking and also open panels for intra and inter paper presentation to foster new modes of thinking.
No Critical Theory
As a humanities student, graduating from one of the finest women’s college in Kolkata, Bethune College, I am sad to say, that the university should have changed its syllabus a long time now.
Sticking to a course that was designed in the nineties is no longer sufficient to hone new and eager minds. The syllabus does not even have any paper on literary criticism or literary theory.
How can a university ever hope to engage the new generation in debate and discussions without introducing them to the basic foregrounding?
A proper understanding of critical theory is essential if one wishes to pursue academics and develop their own critique. But sadly, Calcutta University clearly doesn’t think so.
Absence of Opportunities
Because of the outdated curriculum, students who want to pursue masters and so forth, lack the required knowledge when they apply to other universities. Most often it stands as a barrier for the learning process proving harmful in the long run.
There is no course on methodology and paper presentation. At a time, when everyone is writing their own critique of popular works or of obscured ones, how can Calcutta University students function, if they have no idea of the primary structure of discourse?
Rote learning and exams are things of the past.
In this revolutionary age, we need something that will engage the minds and shock the senses into un-thought-of avenues of critical possibilities.
Dormant Student’s Placement Cell
The placement cell of any university is a primary requisite. CU on the other hand thinks of it as a secondary thing.
The placement cell in the main campus hardly functions, thus giving students little to no option for employment after completing their education.
Some colleges under Calcutta University has student placement cells, but even they are not very good. The companies that are invited are mediocre, nothing very fancy. Also there is a great need for variety among the organistions that do come for placements.
This is something that need to be looked into as soon as possible. Placement drives are an integral component of any university.
CU should change the annual mode, not only because it is time consuming, but also by the end of a year, half of the things taught have already been forgotten.
In comparison to that, the semester mode makes it easy to study, engage in varying curriculum activities and get valuable work experience all at the same time.
Annual mode keeps you engaged for the whole year. A semester mode on the other hand is far better.
It makes you goal oriented and at the same time teaches you to study within a time constraint, thus making sure only the essential is taught.
Semester system also makes it easy to monitor the growth and development of students.
Stingy Marking Pattern
As an English Honours graduate from Calcutta university, I and my classmates can vouch for this statement that, CU is more stingy than any miser when it comes to awarding marks.
Getting a first class is like hoping that Ramsay Bolton (from Game Of Thrones) will cease to be a sadist.
This will destroy your career when you want to go to other universities, because 3 years in CU is enough. Where students in Presidency, Jadavpur and DU joke about having to work really hard if you do not want a first class, we in CU pined for one.
To sum up, Calcutta University needs to immediately look into its problems and restructure the whole framework if it wishes to continue in the race of being a prestigious university.
It is losing half of its students to other universities. The standard is falling with rapid speed and a day will come, when even it’s bygone history will not be enough to save it anymore.
I hope this gave you some food for thought. For more such stuff, read this one: