CHANDIGARH—When the management guru Peter Drucker was asked if he wanted to become a CEO, he replied in the negative saying, ”It is more rewarding to teach students.” Today, time is not the same. Hiring on the contract is becoming a new mantra in each department, especially in the education sector and it has taken away the sheen of teaching. In an attempt to acquire full services at the lowest price is a new jobs creation process of government.
Everywhere school education is witnessing massive contractualization raised an eyebrow of many educationists. It has also raised a serious concern about the quality of instruction that is being imparted to the children when the Right to Education (RTE) Act has become fully operational since March 2013.
According to an official of the Education Department in Chandigarh Administration, contractual employees comprise a major chunk of the total manpower working in different departments. The teachers are divided into various categories including regular, contractual and others and are being paid differently for the same work. The teachers are paid around Rs 20,000 or less than other benefits paid to the regular teachers.
At a lower level, contractual employees are being paid much less when one’s monthly expenses are much more. The situation has compounded in schools and colleges where the heavy burden is shouldered alone by contractual teachers. The city has over 108 government schools besides ITI and polytechnic imparting education to over 2.50 lakh students.
With comparing starting salaries of corporate houses grades going through the roof, the teacher more often serves at a petty amount. G.C. Dhadwal, a retiree principal said,” In the process donning a corporate look to bring efficiency and work culture like the private sector, the contract has done more harm to the education system.” A doctor of a civil hospital said that hospitals have been experiencing a shortage of trained doctors and nurses to man these. Doctors are appointed on ‘contract’ so either most of them have left as they got regular ‘appointments or good packages in the private sector, said he.
The government in order to save itself from the financial burden is now hiring teachers on contract, which is a sheer violation of the norms and in the future ‘contract virus’ will take its toll. Number of employees has been working on contract dedicatedly and undauntedly braving all frustration, quirks of life and a major chunk have already crossed the upper age limits, while many others are at the verge falling into the same trap.
The question in hand is perhaps, who will ring the bell. Hope that the bureaucracy wakes up from deep slumber to save this dedicated contractual lot to become a ‘virus’ that will plunder intellectual, imposing moral insults and psychological dips which these contractual find themselves caught in. The issue should be settled in a tactical manner rather than allowing the problem to gain any potential to blast off and which alternatively can result in pandemonium and dynamos, feel experts.
By YS.Rana: Principal Correspondent.