With academic session almost coming to an end, the IT department of the UT administration has reintroduced the Chandigarh Training on Soft Skills (C-TOSS) programme in 87 government schools on Monday.
After delaying it for over four months, the IT department has given the charge of schools to six different agencies including the Regional Institute of English (RIE), Sector 32.
While RIE will be taking charge of 37 schools, 10 schools have been allotted to each of the five private agencies.
With only 20 working days left in this month, the IT department has asked the agencies to teach for 30 hours in total. Meanwhile, new curriculum with 12 topics has been specially prepared for the programme. Presentation skills, interview skills, telephone etiquette, team building, writing skills and informal speechextempore are some of the topics that have been added to the curriculum.
However, one of the officials of a private agency which has been given the charge of 10 government schools, said, “It will be very difficult to complete 30 hours teaching in such short time. The programme ideally starts in the month of July and ends in February next year, but this year, they have started the programme in February. This has been probably done for the utilisation of the funds.”
The director of the IT department of the UT administration, Prince Dhawan, said, “The amount we had supposed to spend on the programme was substantially higher than what we spent previously. Earlier we had almost planned to scrap the tender floating process but later decided to divide the schools with six agencies, including the Regional Institute of English, which had already hired 37 quality trainers.”
“The RIE had initially sought relaxation in the required qualifications of the instructors but we denied stating that they would only have to appoint quality instructors for the government schools. Thus as they had 37 instructors, we gave them 37 schools while 10 each to other five private agencies. From next academic session, we will plan for open tendering process,”he added.
WHAT IS C-TOSS PROGRAMME?
In order to strengthen the objective of making Chandigarh a technology hub, the Society for Promotion of Information Technology in Chandigarh (SPIC), the UT Administration had taken the initiative to start the C-TOSS programme to develop skilled professionals for the ITES (Information Technology Enabled Service)/BPO sector. The training programme was meant to upgrade the skill-sets in Chandigarh with emphasis on the skills required for ITES professionals.
It has been 11 years since the IT department introduced this programme in government schools for classes 9, 10 and 11. Till 2013, the programme was run by few private agencies including Yes Infobiz, C-Tec, VR Systems, Global Voice and Competent School, while in 2014, the entire project was given to the RIE, Sector 32. Budget over ERs 1.5 crore was spent on the entire programme.