Pune civic schools face shortage of English medium teachers after parents transfer wards from private schools
With several parents losing their income during the Covid-19 pandemic and consequently transferring their wards from private English medium schools to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) schools, there is now a shortage of English medium teachers in various municipal schools
With several parents losing their income during the Covid-19 pandemic and consequently transferring their wards from private English medium schools to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) schools, there is now a shortage of English medium teachers in various municipal schools.
Raising the issue, Nationalist Congress Party’s urban cell head Nitin Kadam said, “After the Covid -19 pandemic, many parents lost their income, particularly those from the lower middle classes or weaker sections. Those who had earlier enrolled their kids in private English medium schools decided to transfer them to municipal schools. For example, in our Aryaneshwar area, we need to stop such admissions in civic schools as the schools do not have enough capacity to accommodate these kids.”
“While parents said they were not in a position to afford the private school fees, private schools were unwilling to admit the kids without fees. Against this backdrop, we met municipal officers and requested them to allow these students in PMC schools without transfer certificates. Private schools were not ready to issue transfer certificates without fees. The PMC decided to allow civic schools to admit these students without transfer certificates. It was for the first time that the PMC saw the trend of parents preferring civic schools to private schools,” Kadam said.
“Yet another issue has now emerged. The number of students has increased but there are no teachers. The PMC needs 350 additional teachers but it has appointed only 289 teachers. The interesting thing is that though PMC gave appointment letters to 289 teachers, only 120 of the 289 joined duty,” Kadam said.
One of the teachers on condition of anonymity said, “The main reason for not joining is the salary. The PMC is offering only Rs15,000 per month. On the other hand, the neighbouring Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporation (PCMC) is offering Rs25,000 per month. There is a lot of demand for English medium teachers in private schools as well.”
The headmistress of a private school on condition of anonymity said, “It is true that a few students left our school as their parents were not in a position to pay the fees. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the school did not ask for fees but as everything is normal now and restrictions have been lifted, the school expects that all children pay their fees.”
Pune municipal schools’ board head Meenakshi Raut said, “It is true that this year, the total number of students in our schools increased mainly due to parents transferring their wards from private schools to PMC schools. PMC appointed new teachers and some of them joined the school board.”
Ravindra Waghmare said, “My kids were studying in a private school. I have a small business which was affected during Covid. Instead of facing an additional financial burden, I preferred to transfer my children to civic schools.”