Without fees, private schools struggle to pay teachers’ salary
Over 20,000 teachers and 6,000 employees of 600 private unaided budget schools in the state have either not been paid salaries or just received a part of it since March. The situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon as school managements claim inability to pay teachers’ salaries due to parents not depositing fees.
The management of these schools claim they don’t have resources to pay teachers.
“Majority of poor parents are unable to pay fees. Hence we too are unable to pay salaries to teachers and staff during this lockdown. Ours is a budget school where we take nominal fees from parents,” said president, association of private schools of UP, Atul Kumar who is the owner of St Basil School.
He admitted teachers were made part-payment in March and nothing in April or May.
President of unaided private school association (UPSA) Anil Agarwal has issued an appeal to parents to pay fees. “I would make a fervent appeal to parents to pay the fees as this has posed a problem in payment of salaries and overheads like electricity bills, IT overheads, provident fund as we don’t have any other source of income,” said Agarwal.
“There is however no pressure on those who cannot pay but majority of stakeholders choose private schools because they can afford it. There has been no increase in fees keeping in mind the pandemic and only monthly fees is being asked for. In these trying times therefore parents must come out to show their solidarity to the cause of education,” he added.
The UPSA has written to Lucknow district magistrate, Abhishek Prakash to direct parents to pay the fees, at least for April.
President of Prelude School, Agra, Sushil Gupta said the institutions were only able to pay half the salary to teachers. “Situation is unlikely to improve in near future as more than 60% of total fees is spent in salary of teachers and non-teaching staff,” he said.
Principal of Gyan Kunj Montessori School in Indira Nagar, A block, Adila Singh said economically weaker section parents have enrolled their children in her school. “They are unable to pay fees regularly even on normal days, leave alone lockdown period,” Singh said.
Owner of St Marys School, Gaurav Shukla who runs six branches said they are making part payment to teachers and employees as and when they are getting fees from parents.
“Despite the fact that we aren’t getting fees, the school will make payments for 450 teachers and 200 non teaching staff in 15 branches till May and June. But from July it is going to be very difficult,” said principal of Pioneer Montessori School, Sharmila Singh.
A number of schools said many parents weren’t paying fees as they hope the state government would announce fee waiver.