Ahmedabad: The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the education sector into disarray. Schools had to be shut suddenly in March, students and teachers had to adapt to online studies, digital divide affected the less privileged, and now some schools are on brink of closure due to financial constraints.
According to a report in the Times of India, over 10 lakh educators and class IV staff of schools will be affected if state governments decide to cap school fees.
Teachers and other staff have been facing uncertainty over their future as they stare at job losses and salary cuts even after adapting to technology and ensuring smooth conduct of classes in online mode.
For most schools, major part of students’ fees are used to pay salaries of educators and class IV workers. So reducing fees will adversely affect teachers who are already being paid less salary.
Udgam and Zebar School For Children executive director Manan Choksi said that schools have no extra funds to pay salaries to educators after the fee regulation community (FRC) reduced profit margin. “If a fee cap is brought in, we will have to take some cost-cutting measures,” he admitted.
The Gujarat government has put a cap on fee collection, which has led to a financial crunch for several schools.
“Accepting it as a challenge, I adapted to technology and even bought a laptop on loan. But now if I have another salary cut, how will I survive with an EMI and my family to take care of,” said a teacher with an experience of 20 years.