The government scheme of ‘Earn while you learn’ is turning out to be a major draw for several college students who might have otherwise dropped out due to financial reasons.
The initiative is having a three-pronged impact. On the one hand, students are earning some extra pocket money while on the other, they are getting work experience and hands-on training while studying, something that is missing in our education system.
There are three government colleges in the city and are severely short-staffed so students pitch in with tasks such as data entry, maintaining of records, library management etc.
Each student is paid Rs 100 on an hourly basis. So if a student works for an hour a day, he/she would be able to earn Rs 600 a week (Sunday is closed) which means Rs 2,400 in a month which students find attractive.
At the Government College for Women, 88 students are assisting the staff in various departments and simultaneously making an extra buck too.
The college has received a budget amount of R5.12 lakh under the scheme till now. As of September 30, the college authorities have disbursed a sum of around R2 lakh to students while the second installment would be paid at the end of this month.
At Government College in Sector 9, 50 students have been roped in to work part time in various departments. Around 55 students have been enrolled for the task in Guru Dronacharya College. Preeti Sharma, a student of the Sector 14 Government College said, “It is a bonus for students. Most of us are not from very well-off families and this extra income helps us support our education and at times our family too.”
Dr Ashok Diwakar, principal, Government College for Women, said, “It is true that our education system does not provide practical work experience. Students who work with us gain practical knowledge which would certainly prove to be beneficial when they move out of college.”
Some teachers, however, are not happy with the scheme. A senior teacher on condition of anonymity said, “Though the government boasts of their initiative but the lack of regular staff remains an issue of concern. Also, the government is managing to get its work done in merely R100 per hour whereas a government employee earns at least Rs 20,000 per month. This is not fair.”