Maharashtra schools warned of action if they sack teachers or hold salaries
With reports of several schools in Maharashtra removing teachers or not paying them during the Covid-19 crisis doing the rounds, the state education department has now come up with a circular stating that action would be taken against schools which resort to such practices.
“It has come to light that some schools run by private managements are not paying their employees including teachers and non teaching staff citing school closure as a reason. This is not acceptable as the government has already made it clear that paying its staff is the school’s responsibility,” stated state education department.
On May 22, HT reported about a school chain in the city asking nearly 150 of its employees to go on leave without pay until further notice. “A lot of schools are now telling teachers that they cannot pay them salaries citing balance payments from parents. Despite majority parents paying, teachers are being made to wait for their salaries,” said a teacher from a suburban school which has paid only 30% of the total salary to its staff.
All educational institutions across the country were ordered to close due to the coronavirus outbreak since the nationwide lockdown was clamped first on March 25. Maharashtra government on March 30 directed schools in the state not to demand fees during the lockdown.
Some schools said that they were finding it tough to manage their expenses. “Big chains still have a lot of funds but budget private schools like ours get their funds only from fees. Most of our parents have said that they cannot pay full fees while some have not even paid a single installment. We cannot pressurise parents and hence our staff is getting only 50% salary,” said the management member of a school in Malad on the condition of anonymity.
Schools that do not pay salaries to staff would have to give an explanation for not doing so and the education department can take action against such schools as per the circular.