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Student suicides: Telangana's JNV draws flak after non-local counsellors hired

Hyderabad-based Child Rights activist Achyuta Rao agreed that appointments would be futile if counsellors do not speak the local language.

Published: 06th October 2019 08:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2019 08:43 AM   |  A+A-

Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya II

The new JNV-II building at Balimela town (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Appointment of counsellors by authorities of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya — the residential schools run by Central government — has drawn flak from educationists and teachers after it was found that Telugu speaking teachers have been appointed in other states like Kerala, Odisha, Meghalaya, and even in the union territory of Andaman.

It may be recalled that earlier this year the government had approved the appointment of one male and one female counsellor for each of its 635 JNVs it came to light that nearly 50 JNV students had committed suicide in the last five years.

While the notification for recruitment of 1,096 women and 786 men counsellors had stated that knowledge of the local language would be considered in deciding the placement, the appointment of Telugu counsellors outside Telangana has come as a surprise for most of the selected candidates. 

“Unlike a subject teacher who can teach even if she/he doesn’t know the local language, counselling is an interaction between the counsellor and student where the language is of significance for the child to express and for the counsellor to understand and help,” one counsellor was posted in a different state told Express.

Hyderabad-based Child Rights activist Achyuta Rao agreed that appointments would be futile if counsellors do not speak the local language.

The selected candidates have also criticised the process on the grounds that despite the notification stating that the recruitment would be contractual and lasting 10 months, they are being appointed in the middle of the session and will only serve for five months.

“We don’t know if it’s worth going to a new state for just five months where language could be a barrier,” said a counsellor who has been posted in Andaman.

Speaking to Express, the deputy commissioner of Hyderabad region, N Uma Maheswara Rao, clarified that the number of Telugu speaking candidates who cleared the screening were more than the requirement in the state.

“Thus we were left with the option to either drop them or post them in states where the number of qualified candidates were short in number,” Rao said.  

While Telangana region comprising of the two Telugu states, Karnataka, Kerala, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry have 77 JNVs, in Telangana and AP there are 28 JNVs which required 56 counsellors.

“We decided that since these candidates had shown caliber, we should reward. Also, it is better to have a counsellor than leave the position vacant. And, both teachers and students know some amount of Hindi and English,” he said.

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