1100 vocational trainers in SED see bleak future

Seek framing of job policy, salary hike
In 2016, the Ministry of Education (MoE) approved the introduction of vocational subjects in more than 220 government schools with a motive to train students in automobile courses, computer education and other mechanic courses.
In 2016, the Ministry of Education (MoE) approved the introduction of vocational subjects in more than 220 government schools with a motive to train students in automobile courses, computer education and other mechanic courses.Special arrangement

Srinagar: Despite working in the School Education Department (SED) for the last more than six years, more than 1100 vocational trainers see a bleak future ahead as the government has not framed any job policy for the skilled lot.

There has been no enhancement in their monthly salaries since their appointment in the department.Aghast with the government's indifferent attitude, the vocational trainers are on a peaceful sit-in protest for the last four days at Press Enclave Srinagar seeking salary hike and job policy to secure their future.

Notably, the vocational trainers were hired by the SED in 2016 under a centrally sponsored scheme- National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) wherein the trainers were hired to impart vocational education to the students in high and higher secondary schools.

“The vocational trainers were hired after the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) introduced vocational education in schools at high and higher secondary levels. But we see a dark future ahead as no job policy was framed for us nor our monthly salary was enhanced over the years,” said a vocational education trainer.

Vocational education after being introduced under NSQF was merged with the erstwhile RMSA scheme for its implementation in schools.“Our recruitment was made through a private company- Vocational Training Providers (VTPs) hired by the SED. Soon after our engagement, the vocational subjects were introduced in schools at secondary and senior secondary level,” he said.

In 2016, the Ministry of Education (MoE) approved the introduction of vocational subjects in more than 220 government schools with a motive to train students in automobile courses, computer education and other mechanic courses.

“We were selected through a proper selection process and all of us are highly qualified having completed our Post graduation, MBA, MCA and other professional degrees. We are teaching a fifth compulsory (optional) subject to classes 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th and it is mandatory for students to pass the subject in class 11th and 12th,” another vocational trainer said. The vocational trainers said the NSQF scheme has been able to maintain a good success rate in the past six years as the pass percentage in the subjects taught under the scheme has been much higher than non-vocational subjects.

“But despite all these achievements no hike was given in our salaries for the last four years. We are getting a fixed amount of Rs 19,800 per month despite attending more than five classes a day like normal teachers,” the Vocational trainer said, adding that the principle of equal pay for equal work was missing in the scheme.

“We are not provided any CPF, leave or insurance cover. Recently our colleague died but his NoK was not provided any compensation,” he said.

The vocational trainers said most of them are at the verge of crossing the age bar and will not be eligible for any job within the next few years. The vocational trainers urged the government to give a sympathetic consideration to their grievance and a regularization policy be framed for them.

The vocational trainers said the role of VTPs was confined to release of their salary and rest was directly managed by the project directorate of Samagra Shiksha.“The VTPs play a spoilsport in our working and their involvement delays framing of our job policy,” the VTs said. Notably, the Vocational Trainers (VTs) are being made to run from pillar to post at a time when the GoI has given special mention of vocational education in National Education Policy (NEP)-2020. The NEP draft says that “There will be no hard separation between the vocational and academic streams.”

The VTs said that there is an overwhelming response to the vocational subjects during the last few years throughout J&K without any role of VTPs. “These VTPs act as parasites in the system earning crores of rupees. They get a huge commission out of the salary of each vocational trainer. Their expulsion will prove beneficial for both- VTs and the department,” the protesting VTs said.

Project Director Samagra Shiksha J&K, Deep Raj when contacted said vocational trainers were recruited as outsourced employees and will continue to remain so till a decision is taken by the government of India.“It is a uniform model implemented throughout India,” he told Greater Kashmir. About the salary hike he said a proposal was submitted to the GoI. “They will hike their salary as per the uniform model,” he said.

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