New Delhi: ‘What’s on your mind?’ the question Facebook asks you every day. Now, students in Delhi might be taught how to answer it. As a part of the Delhi University’s English Department draft curriculum for the upcoming academic year, students may soon have the option to study ‘Facebook Post Writing’ as one of four components of the course ‘Academic Writing’.
Christel Devadawson, Head of the English Department, explains, “We want to give students every option possible, such as academic and professional writing of different kinds. We have noticed that students have had to go outside the university to acquire such skills, at some cost of their own.” She adds that it might be a beneficial skill for some students in the new digital age.
However, several disagree with the move. Anshula, a Delhi University student, said she would rather study pure forms of literature and poetry, than the aesthetics of Facebook post writing.
“It could lead to the degeneration of the academic sphere,” she added. Teachers too have voiced their concerns. “Facebook is a tool for people to share their opinions and thoughts openly. This course would control the way students write on social media, regulate their thoughts. You would make them think of the form of their posts, or language of their writing, which ends up controlling content as well. It’s restrictive to their ideas,” says Siddharth Kanoujia, an English Professor.
He adds that the only possible value he sees is if students are sensitized not to troll online, or be abusive and insulting. This, after the department has recently been criticised by many for introducing Indian author Chetan Bhagat’s novel Five Point Someone as a part of the curriculum’s ‘Popular Literature’.
“Chetan Bhagat’s writings are very narrow, in terms of the classes, castes and themes they represent. Why should we study these writings?,” says Nimisha, a second year Bachelors student at Hindu College, Delhi University.