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Four-member DU panel to frame guidelines for review of SOL's self-learning material | Kalvimalar - News

Four-member DU panel to frame guidelines for review of SOL's self-learning material- 2-Dec-2023

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New Delhi: A Delhi University committee will oversee the review of the School of Open Learning's self-learning material and formulate guidelines for the preparation of future study materials, an official said on Saturday.


This comes after repeated issues were flagged in the self-learning material that was presented before the Academic Council.


A four-member committee of the South Campus director, Campus of Open Learning director, dean of academic affairs and the head of the English department will be notified by Monday or Tuesday, the official added.


"The committee will oversee the review of the School of Open Learning's self-learning material and formulate guidelines for review of the preparation of study materials in the future," Delhi University's South Campus Director Shri Prakash Singh told PTI.


A review report of the self-learning material was placed before the Academic Council for approval during a meeting on Thursday. The report was rejected after a council member pointed out grammatical and factual errors and plagiarism in the materials.


Jesus and Mary College Assistant Professor Maya John flagged some of the errors still present in the study materials even after it was reviewed by the School of Open Learning.


"Approximately three lakh students enrolled in the School of Open Learning use these study materials with gross factual errors. One shudders to think what these students would learn from these poor quality study materials and what their futures would be," John said. 


The university's Academic Council and the Executive Council conditionally approved the self-learning material in August despite objections over its quality. The School of Open Learning was also instructed to review the materials and correct the mistakes. 


Following this, the School of Open Learning constituted a panel to review the errors in the self-learning material of two Political Science papers.


The factual errors highlighted in the Political Science and Indian Politics papers -- in both Hindi and English -- of different courses included several mistakes over dates. These included wrong information such as India gaining independence in 1945 (instead of 1947), the Indian Constitution being "formed" in 1994 and Jawaharlal Nehru's death in 1967 (instead of 1964), among others.


Spelling mistakes in the names of the UK's former prime minister Ramsay MacDonald (misspelt as Ramsay McDonald), freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose (misspelt as Subash Chandra Bose), historian Bipan Chandra (misspelt as Vipin Chandra) and Asom Gana Parishad (misspelt as Assam Gun Parishad) were also pointed out. 


Nine Academic Council members had submitted a dissent note over the errors and demanded an impartial review.


Several students led by the Krantikari Yuva Sanghathan had also held a demonstration outside the Arts Faculty (North Campus) against the passing of the "sub-standard" study materials in Executive Council meeting. 


Responding to PTI's query on the issue, School of Open Learning Director Payal Mago said the study materials are reviewed at different levels, including a final check by senior Delhi University professors. 


The errors highlighted will be corrected in due course, she added. 


"It is a time-consuming process. School of Open Learning teachers are making extra effort to prepare the syllabi. Only pointing out mistakes ... to sensationalise things is not fair... When we produce lakhs of pages, it might be possible that some errors went unnoticed. These will be corrected in due course," she said. 


Mago added the School of Open Learning is open to suggestions from stakeholders or academics and submissions can be sent on its email -- slm@sol-du.ac.in.


The School of Open Learning has a three-stage review process for study materials. These are first checked by third-party agencies in coordination with School of Open Learning staff. It is then proofread by the institute administration before finally being sent to department teachers in the Delhi University, Mago said. 



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