The contract of 141 master trainers (special educators), who teach children with special needs (CWSN) under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) may be renewed in the first week of June.
Source said the union government has agreed principally to restore the services for providing education to CWSN. The fate of the special educators and children was hanging fire since April 1 as their contract was not renewed for continuing education in the state.
The teachers were appointed three years ago by the ministry of human resource and development. Sources said the ministry have now principally agreed for providing the budget, but it has also been intimated to state that the children with special needs (handicap and mentally retarded) should be brought in the main stream of the education system.
Earlier, the HRD ministry in its appraisal report communicated to the state had not allocated the budget for the master trainers in the annual plan for 2013-14 financial year. Therefore, the state unit of SSA had not renewed the contract of the master trainers so far. The Hindustan Times had highlighted the issue of special educators and CWSN in April.
As per as the information, the ministry had also asked the state unit of SSA to remove the learning disabled from the list of CWSN. However, the budget of each student has also been reduced to Rs1,800 to 2,000 from Rs 3,000 per annum for the current financial year. After removing the learning disabled from the list, the strength of CWSN may be left to 13,371.
Sources said a budget of Rs 4.34 crore was allocated for 2012-13 for educating the special children, but this year it could be reduced to Rs 2.5 crore.
The state unit of the SSA was waiting for a fresh communication from the HRD ministry for renewing the contract of special educators in the state. Due to non-renewal of the contract of special educators, the education of CWSN had also come to a halt in the state.
Project director of SSA DC Rana admitted that the ministry had agreed principally for renewing the contract of special educators and added that the final approval was yet to be obtained.
He said the issue under SSA was being pleaded strongly before the ministry. He added that the process for making the four hostels of CWSN at Nahan, Joginder Nagar, Nagrota Bagwa and Shimla was also in the process.
Computer operators' fate undecided
The fate of computer operators under computer-aided learning of SSA is still not decided. The services of computer operators were also terminated because the intervention of computer-aided learning was not included in the annual plan of SSA. As many as 282 operators are working under SSA in the state.