Himachal JBT trainees demonstrate over job uncertainty

18feb-protest1Shimla: Unsure about a future, hundreds of junior basic teachers (JBT) trainees from all districts of the state assembled at Ambedkar Chowk on Monday and held a peaceful demonstration seeking government assurances of being absorbed into regular jobs.

“The government is back tracking by not signing up bonds about providing jobs after we complete our training as was done with the previous batch, says Navin Thakur a JBT trainee.

The government after inviting applications went through a selection process and assured us of jobs, once we completed the course, he added.

However, uncertainty has cropped in after the government decided to convert serving Vidya Upasak teachers into JBT teachers in a phased manner and also to revive the Vidya Upasak recruitment process for filling up vacant posts that mostly exist in rural schools.

Agitated JBT trainees decided to protest and boycotted classes. The government on Tuesday threatened to disqualify the entire batch if they decided to agitate on the issue.

In all 1752 trainees had been selected from over 90,000 applicants after conducting a screening test in September 2008.

Education minister Iswhar Dass Dhiman told My Himachal that a delegation of the JBT trainee students met him on Wednesday and did give an undertaking that they would return to their institutes and continue with their training course.

“On that assurance the government has decided not to disqualify the batch,” he said.

On the contentious issue of providing regular jobs to the trainees, Dhiman said that it was clearly stated in the applications that this was only a training program and did not automatically entail providing regular jobs.

“However I did assure the delegation today that these JBT trainees would be absorbed whenever vacancies came up and conditions demanded that positions be filled up,” said Dhiman.

Regarding giving regular jobs to the previous batch, the education minister said that it was a part of the terms on which those applications were invited.

“The issue went to court and a High Court order made it mandatory to provide government jobs to trainees of that batch,” said Dhiman.

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