ICT Salaries not paid for last 7 months under the scheme financed by Centre & state in 3:1 ratio
Computer instructors in 1,401 schools across Uttar Pradesh have not received their salaries for the last seven months. Ironical in a state where its Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav talks of promoting computers and Information Technology.
As part of the Central government's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) scheme, 4,000 secondary schools in the state were selected for providing free computer education to the students. In January 2009, Educomp Solutions was given a work order by Education Director (Secondary Education) for implementing the scheme in 1,401 schools for a period of five years. Another company, Extra Marks Education, was given the responsibility of providing computer facilities in about 1,500 schools from Classes VI to XII.
Under the contract, Educomp had to provide computer hardware, software, accessories, computer education and computer-aided education apart from stationing one full-time instructor in each school. It was also asked to provide course material, impart training, make provision for electricity and internet connection at each school, besides monitoring and managing the project during the contract period.
"The money was directly paid to Educomp," said R P Mishra, president of Secondary Education Teachers Association. The expenses of the scheme were shared between the Centre and the state government in the ratio of 75:25.
But Mishra alleges that the instructors in the 1,401 schools and colleges, which are covered under Educomp, have not received their salaries for last seven months. "According to information accessed through RTI, these instructors are entitled to a maximum of Rs 10,000 per month. Educomp continues to receive the amount but it has not reached the instructors," he alleged.
"At the beginning of second phase, which began on May 2, 2011, the monthly salary of the instructors was revised to Rs 10,000 is the salary revised. Before that Educomp received Rs 5,000 per instructor but even then it paid only Rs 3,248 to the instructors," said Mishra.
Extra Marks Education, on the other hand, gave only Rs 4,040, while not paying any amount to the instructors for the holidays (about 40 days), for which they received money from the state government, Mishra added.
The association demands that instructors should be paid their dues. "Instead of routing the salaries to the teachers through Educomp, it should be given to them through District Inspector of Schools, like it is for other government school teachers, Mishra suggested.
Defence or passing the Buck?
Responding to the allegations, Educomp management in a statement from its Gurgaon corporate office, said: "This unfortunate situation has arisen due to the inordinate delay in payments from the UP government, which now amounts to Rs 22 crores. While we have ensured in the past that payments to faculty members are not affected in situations where there is delay in payment from the state government, continuous delay in payments has led to this regrettable situation."
Rohit Jain, CEO of Extramarks, said, "Nowhere it is mentioned in the contract that we have to pay Rs 5,000 in phase one or Rs 10,000 in phase two. The instructors received about Rs 3,200 (as monthly salary) in phase one while now they receive about Rs 5,600. In phase one, the contract mentioned Rs 3,500 only," he said.