Friday, January 24, 2014

Mobile account assistants seek job security

Mobile account assistants seek job security

Guruprasad T N, Mangalore, Jan 6, 2014, DHNS:
With an intention to lessen the burden of government primary school head masters, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) had decided to outsource the account works, nearly two years ago.

Though the idea of appointing degree holders in commerce or business administration as mobile account assistants to audit the school expenses clicked by providing employment to many youth, it failed to give job security and satisfaction.

As most of the primary school head masters are TCH degree holders, the government started appointing mobile account assistants to help them. In Dakshina Kannada, there are 932 government primary schools and 20 mobile account assistants have been appointed in the year 2013-14, as one accountant for every 50 schools. They are answerable to block account assistants (seven in DK) and the whole system is managed by the district account assistant.

These assistants have to look after the accounts, development works and vouchers of schools. They have right to check cash books, cheque issue register, ledger book, stock book, asset registrar (asset of school with value), wage of funds like building compound, compound fund etc. In case of misappropriation, they can bring it to the notice of block education officer. The accountants have to visit every school of their limit at least once in two months.

Every year, the State SSA calls tenders to select an agency which appoints employees with one year contract. This year Hindustan Security Services has recruited 20 candidates. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Sandhya, a BBM degree holder, currently working as a mobile account assistant at Belthangady said that it is a tough task to reach some schools in rural areas. “Many times, we don’t get buses, and then we have to depend on autos or have to walk for miles,” she said.

Theertha Prasad, another mobile account assistant agrees that there is no job security. “It has provided a temporary earning for us, but in every March, our contract ends and there is no guaranty of renewal which makes us feel insecure. We don’t get salary in time. The salary of October was credited on November 29. It is not possible to completely depend on this profession.”

Agencies to be blamed


Speaking to Deccan Herald, SSA Coordinator N Shivaprakash blamed the agency for the delay in salary. “As per the rules, they have to credit salary before fifth of every month.

SSA is ready to give the bill amount within a day. We can serve notice to them and agency can be blacklisted. But, if we do so, the mobile accountants will suffer. The new e-tendering process to choose an alternative agency would take at least one month. The accountants won’t get salary in that period. So it is better to wait till March,” he said. 

More appointments?

Shivaprakash said that 40 posts of mobile account assistants were sanctioned to the district, but the State had given permission to hire only 20 members. On asked about the job security, he said: “We have increased their salary from Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,200. This year, their service may extended till May which would help us as well as for them. There is a provision to extend SSA project till 2017. But, there is no proposal of regularise their services.

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