Ahmedabad: Thousands of schools in Gujarat are on the verge of closure.
According to the Gujarat Self-Financed School Management Federation (GSFSMF), the prolonged lockdown caused by coronavirus pandemic has resulted in financial constraints for these schools.
Cap on fees collection has compounded problems as school authorities aren’t able to pay salaries to educators and bear the overhead cost, the Times Of India has reported.
“The next six months will decide how many schools close down. There are schools that have not received fees for even the last academic session. If the government caps fee collection, survival of these schools will become extremely difficult,” said Ahmedabad Schools Progressive Management Association president Archit Bhatt.
“Almost 7000 schools may be battling for survival,” said GSFSMF president Bharat Gajipara.
According to Ahmedabad School Management Association head Amrut Bharwad, 45 to 50 schools may close down in Ahmedabad itself. It is difficult for B and C category schools to survive with just 15% to 20% of fees collection, he added.
Even though the schools are not incurring electricity or transportation costs, they have to pay their teachers and other employees, which is becoming increasingly difficult for school managements.
“The major expense is the salary of teachers which continues even if the school is not functional,” said Udgam and Zebar School Executive Director Manan Choksi. Moreover, schools have been incurring expenditures on infrastructure improvement and teacher training during the pandemic.
If such is the plight of a rich state like Gujarat, one can imagine the condition in some other backward states.