Finances of schools, teachers affected by COVID finds study
The COVID-19 disruption has severely impacted schools with teachers in many not getting full salary while the revenue model of others has been dented, a latest study has found.
According to the study by Central Square Foundation, low-fee schools have seen a significant impact on revenue due to school closures, examination postponement, and widespread non-payment of fees for this period.
“None of the private schools reported that they collected fees during the lockdown, but around 25% parents report paying fees. Fee collection cycles in private schools depend on the start and end of the school academic year; parents often wait until March-April i.e. till the end-of-year examinations - to pay the academic year’s dues,” the report said.
It said schools had uncollected fees ranging from 13 to 80 % of annual revenue.
Some states including Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra ordered schools to refrain from collecting fees during the lockdown, forcing schools to forgo a large share of their annual fees and not just the monthly fee for March and April, it said. Haryana, Telangana, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh allowed schools to charge only the tuition fee and Maharashtra warned schools of strict action if they withheld staff salaries during the lockdown.
“Nearly 50% school leaders are considering a shift in pricing models in the upcoming year. They mentioned fee discounts/ fee deferrals, pay cuts for staff and increasing class sizes as possible ideas,” the study said.
“Nearly 50% teachers didn’t receive their salary for March despite schools closing only in mid-March Less than 20% teachers from private schools continued to receive their salaries after March. A few teachers in Telangana have found other means to earn their wages in the interim, including agriculture work, enrolling in MNREGA programs and manual labour,” the report said.
The surveyors spoke to schools across Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh etc , according to the report. Over a third of these schools were not in major metros. Parents across Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh were spoken to. Parents surveyed included both fathers and mothers in roughly equal proportions. ENDS