Private schools may be pushing for a 50 per cent hike in fee paid by parents ostensibly to pay teachers as per the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission, but a number of them do not even follow government scales for paying teachers.
Teachers say that although these schools are burdening parents with increased fee, it was unlikely that the money would reach their pockets.
Several teachers, who spoke to Hindustan Times on conditions of anonymity, revealed that many lesser-known private schools, which are also asking for the 50 per cent increase, currently pay less than even what was recommended in 1997 by the 5th Pay Commission.
Ayesha Thapa (name changed), who works in a private institution in Rohini, teaches Classes VI to VIII and has nine years of work experience, but earns only Rs 10,000 per month.
As per the fifth pay commission recommendation, others at Ayesha’s level (that is middle school level) should earn roughly between Rs 11,000 to Rs 13,000 as their starting salary.
“This is a common phenomenon in many unaided schools. In fact, I don’t even know the break up of my salary. At the time of recruitment I was hired for one consolidated amount of Rs 10,000 and even today I don’t know what my basic salary is,” said Thapa.
Jyoti Bose, Principal, Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan, is aware of such malpractices.
“I have heard of these problems from parents who have been teachers in other schools. The Directorate of Education should have taken such errant institutions to task,” she said.
Teachers in some schools are even forced to return a part of their salary in cash. “They are given better salaries in cheque and then asked to return money in cash. So the school looks good on paper,” said a teacher of a school in Pitampura.
Parents, who will be footed the bill for pay increase, are obviously not happy.
“My interaction with my son’s teachers gives me the impression that they’re not happy with their salaries. It’s strange how private schools charge a bomb and their teacher’s still seem to unhappy,” said a parent, whose son studies in a prominent south Delhi school, and recently paid an annual fee of Rs 30,000.