Uncertainty Looms for Rajasthan's Vidya Sambal Lecturers as Service Period Nears End

Addressing the shortage of educators in 190 state colleges, approximately 1000 teachers were appointed to ensure uninterrupted teaching services.
Representational Image of a College Classroom
Representational Image of a College Classroom

Jaipur- The future of approximately one thousand qualified lecturers deployed under the Vidya Sambal scheme hangs in the balance as their service period is set to expire at the end of February. With no directives from the new government regarding the extension of their services, these teachers find themselves in a state of uncertainty. The lack of clear communication adds to the ambiguity surrounding their employment status, leaving the educators and the academic community in limbo.

Educators engaged through the Vidya Sambal scheme currently serve in 190 colleges across the state, their appointments facilitated by the Commissioner's office through nodal colleges and the Rajasthan College Education Society. This initiative has led to the deployment of approximately one thousand educators in these institutions. The critical aspect lies in the absence of a permanent staff in the state's colleges. As these professors, crucial to the functioning of the education system, face an impending threat of unemployment with the current uncertainty surrounding the extension of their tenure, the repercussions are far-reaching. The education of thousands of students hangs in the balance, with potential adverse effects on academic continuity and quality if a resolution is not promptly addressed.

The Vidya Sambal scheme

The former Congress government introduced the Vidya Sambal scheme to address staff shortages in government schools and colleges. Teachers were appointed as guest faculty, and their payments were fixed based on the number of classes they conducted in a month.

In the absence of permanent staff at the colleges in Rajasthan, the Vidya Sambal scheme was initiated by the government as an alternative arrangement. However, due to the lack of guidelines regarding the extension of tenure for lecturers under this scheme, their employment is currently shrouded in uncertainty and crisis.

It is noteworthy that the National Education Policy was implemented last year, necessitating teaching for the first-year students. The teachers selected under Vidya Sambal scheme were taken to serve until February, and no further decision has been made by the current government. "In state colleges, the limited availability of professors underscored the need for additional teaching staff, making the appointment of lecturers under this scheme a crucial and beneficial initiative for students.

The Commissionerate of College Education played a pivotal role in appointing these professors within the framework of college education.

It is noteworthy that several colleges in the state have already implemented the semester system under the NEP, and students have undergone learning accordingly. The second semester will commence after the first semester. If the teachers appointed under this scheme are removed, it will adversely affect the teaching activities of students in the upcoming academic session.

Under the Vidya Sambal scheme, these assistant professors and professors were appointed in colleges, and their tenure is until February 28th. However, no guidelines have been provided by the Commissioner's office regarding the extension of their tenure. In the absence of such guidelines, the future of these teachers hangs in balance.

Sharing his concern, a teacher on the condition of anonymity said, "In times of severe staff shortages, the Vidya Sambal scheme has proven to be a lifeline for education. Their presence has been instrumental in mitigating the challenges posed by the scarcity of educators, ensuring uninterrupted and quality teaching for the students. With the imminent expiration of our service period and the lack of directives for extension, we urge the authorities to address the uncertainty surrounding our future. An extension is not just a request for us but a crucial step towards sustaining the quality of education we provide."

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