Guwahati: The All Assam NSQF Vocational Teachers Association has been demanding the intervention of state education minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma to look into their plight and provide some sort of redemption. Their list of demands include regularized salary, job security, equal pay scale for all vocational trainers/teachers and direct appointment from the government.
The demands were communicated through a memorandum which has been submitted to the chief minister, the governor, state education department and also to the Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhijan (RMSA) mission director.
“We were recruited through private firms in 2016. There have been irregularities in salaries paid for our work from the beginning. Ever since lockdown was announced, in March we were paid only half of the ascribed salary and we received earnings for the month of April two months later in June and haven’t received any paycheck since” said the secretary of All Assam NSQF Vocational Teachers’ Association.
In 2015, the state government introduced vocational courses under Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhijan in around 57 state-run schools. Courses such as retail, IT/ITes, tourism, health care, private security, agriculture have been notified as Elective subjects by SEBA under the scheme.
Currently, the scheme is going on in 152 schools across the state. It was an attempt to make students self-reliant and self-dependent by teaching such courses in schools by engaging them through participative methodologies a means of empowerment for students to become responsible citizens.
Again in 2016, around 400 teachers were hired, this time through a third-party, and were appointed in various government schools in and around the state. It has been alleged that the salaries offered to the appointed vocational teachers have been inconsistent in comparison to those hired directly by the government in 2015. However, both the batches of teachers were appointed for the same set of skills and duties.
“I haven’t received a single paycheck since March. Upon enquiring with the company that hired me, I was told that all dues will get cleared in the coming few weeks, this was said back in March but it has been months now and I haven’t been paid yet,” said a disgruntled vocational teacher of agriculture from Dibrugarh. “It’s the same response every time and nothing gets done,” he added.