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Govt word to junior colleges

Guwahati, June 2: The All Assam Junior College (non-provincialised) Association today said Dispur had promised to provincialise all junior colleges in the state by 2016 and convert these into secondary schools.

The association’s president, Baharul Islam, said here today the promise was made yesterday by education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a meeting with them. Sarma also agreed to their demand for amending the Assam Venture Institutions (Provincialisation of Services) Act, 2011.

“The education minister promised that some of the non-provincialised colleges would be provincialised in the current year and the rest would be done gradually and that the process would be completed in the next four years,” Islam said.

Though some such colleges were provincialised during the Tarun Gogoi government’s first term, 235 colleges, employing around 5,000 teachers and 4,000 non-teaching staff, are yet to get government support. The junior colleges are demanding provincialisation because such a move will entitle the employees to government salaries, while the institutions will get state financial aid.

“The government had earlier announced that financial aid would be provided to colleges set up till 2005. But during the meeting, we requested the minister that aid should be provided to all junior colleges, as most of them came into being after 2005. The minister agreed to this,” Islam said.

The association also demanded amendment of a few clauses of the Assam Venture Institutions (Provincialisation of Services) Act, 2011. “We raised objection to the Clause IV (1) of the act which says that a candidate should possess 10 years of teaching experience to work in a provincialised institution. The government agreed to reduce the number of years,” he said.