Two years after the IT department handed over the Chandigarh Training on Soft Skills (C-TOSS) programme to the Regional Institute of English (RIE), Sector 32, it has floated tenders inviting private agencies to take over.
Agencies such as Yes Infobiz, C-Tec, VR Systems, Global Voice and Competent School, which were associated with the programme till 2013, were the bidders this time, including the RIE.
Citing the need for floating new tenders, Director IT, Prince Dhawan, said, “We have gone for a competitive tender to discover the true market price and increase quality by competition.”
The owner of a private tutorial in the city, who was a part of CTOSS programme from 2004 to 2013, said, “For some reasons, the tender of the CTOSS programme was taken away from us despite the fact that we were training teachers to be able to efficiently train school students in soft skills and spoken English. The RIE ruined the programme. More than half of their teachers had no experience of teaching in schools or at any level.” He added, “Ask the school students when was the last time that they had attended a CTOSS class and what they had learnt. None of them will have any answers. Hope the programme reaches the right hands this time.”
Few months ago, four of the city-based agencies had got an RTI reply from the RIE which showed that out of the 101 instructors appointed to train the students of class IX-XI, 60 per cent had ‘Nil’ experience in teaching, while a majority of them were only post-graduates. The C-TOSS programme was initiated by the Society for Promotion of IT in Chandigarh (SPIC) 11 years ago under the aegis of Department of IT, Chandigarh. The objective of the programme was to make students speak fluent English and help them in personality development.
However, the programme has failed to evoke any interest among government school students. In fact, a majority of students do not even attend the programme, considering it optional.