GUWAHATI: A recent letter issued by the Samagra Siksha Assam (SSA) has virtually set the stage for the closure of Jyoti Kendras in 11 districts of the State.
The Jyoti Kendras are non-residential special training centres for child labourers who otherwise have no access to formal education.
The SSA's letter has set specific deadlines by which each Jyoti Kendra has to 'mainstream' the trainees in nearby regular schools. The letter also informed the staff concerned that they will receive their honorarium only till those deadlines. The deadlines for payment of honorarium range from August this year to February, 2023.
Talking to The Sentinel, Jyoti Kendra Shiksha Karmi Santha Assam president Munmun Chetia said that the Jyoti Kendras have been functional in the State since 2003 and so far 1,80,000 child labourers have been brought into the mainstream education system. Chetia added that around 50,000 children are still receiving training in various Jyoti Kendras across the State.
Chetia alleged that around 856 education volunteers (EVs) working in Kamrup (M), Dima Hasao, Kokrajhar, Baksa, Goalpara, Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh and Jorhat are set to lose their livelihood because the SSA did not secure approval for the honorarium budget for 2022-2033 from the Project Approval Board (PAB).
Chetia mentioned that on the one hand the National Book Trust has sent books worth Rs 66 lakh for 2,165 Jyoti Kendras in 33 districts of the State, but on the other hand the SSA is setting the stage for closing the Jyoti Kendras.
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