The managements of some private schools in Karnataka have decided that to pay their teacher by the hour instead of the monthly salaries, that is, they will paid depending on the number of online classes they conduct till schools reopen. This comes after some of schools let go some of their staff and even cut salaries.
A Bangalore school principal said that this will come into effect from July, “We have decided to pay teachers based on their salary from the previous academic year. This amount will be divided by the number of working days, and then multiplying it by the number of hours they are teaching. So by this formula, a teacher whose monthly salary is ₹30,000, will get ₹250 per hour. If they take online classes for two hours per day, they will be paid ₹500 per day.”
In April and May, school managements had cut salaries of teachers claiming there was no source of income as they could not collect fees for the 2020-2021 academic year. This has caused a lot of distress among the teachers who pointed out that a lot of preparation goes into one class that needs to be taken into account. A social science teacher who has had a 60% salary cut since May said she was struggling to make ends meet.
The founder of a school said that “we will wait for the government to take a call and may start this model in a month or two if schools do not re-open” adding that although many parents have paid fees, there are several recurring expenditures that needs to be paid including rent. He further added, “We also have to upgrade our online resources for these classes. Teachers are aware of the situation and the crisis that school managements are facing.”
Officials in the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) said that according to the Karnataka Education (Second Amendment) Act, 2017, teachers employed in private schools can complain to the District Education Regulatory Authority (DERA) if they have any concerns related to payment of salaries. Based on the RTE Act, the State government had issued an order that primary school teachers should be paid a minimum of ₹25,800 a month, high school teachers should be paid at least ₹33,450 per month.
Many teachers have also taken up small side businesses to make ends meet. A teacher, who is also a single parent of two children said, “As the salaries of teachers are low when compared to other professions, they do not have savings. So many of my colleagues have started catering services, while some of them have started small online businesses such as selling masks.”
Source: The Hindu
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