Press Release, 20.3.2009

AC meeting

The DTF takes serious note of the manner in which the Vice-Chancellor conducted the Academic Council Meeting on 20 March 2009. When the meeting commenced the elected members argued for withdrawal of the item on semester system from the agenda. They pointed out that the university administration was pushing the agenda in total disregard of the genuine problems and issues raised by teachers with regard to implementing the semester system. In the last Academic Council meeting held on 7 October 2008, it was decided to defer the issue in order to have a wider consultation. The members pointed out that the VC was clearly not interested in any serious informed discussion as he had not circulated any blueprint about how the problems would be addressed nor informed the members about the feedback he had received. It is widely known that teachers across colleges are agitated about the feasibility of implementation of the semester system and are not convinced that dismantling the annual system is a good idea.

When the Vice-Chancellor refused to withdraw the item from the agenda the elected members moved to the well of the house in protest. They pointed out that they had no other option since the VC had repeatedly pushed through decisions on restructuring of courses or examination reforms without serious discussion and a similar decision pushed through on the semester system would result in administrative and academic chaos in the colleges.

While a decision on the semester system was stalled today, the DTF condemns the manner in which the VC concluded the meeting by announcing that new courses listed on the agenda be taken as passed without any discussion. DTF elected members recorded their dissent and expressed their displeasure over the VCs scant respect for democratic processes.

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