With the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown forcing the mass closure of education institutions, several state governments have issued circulars directing private school managements not collect tuition fees “until further orders”. These circulars have jeopardized the financial stability of the country’s 375,000 private independent (unaided) K-12 schools and especially the estimated 400,000 low-fees budget private schools (BPS) countrywide and endangered the employment of 7 million teachers. With parents withholding March and April tuition fees, a multiplying number of private unaided and BPS are experiencing a severe cash flow problem and are unable to pay teachers’ salaries.
Several private school associations (NISA, FICCI Arise, Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan etc) have made representations to the PMO (prime minister’s office) and the Union HRD ministry protesting these fee circulars on the grounds that they are ill-considered, arbitrary and violative of the fundamental right of private school managements to engage in the vocation of preschool to higher secondary education.
EducationWorld supports the country’s 375,000 private unaided schools and 400,000 private budget schools which provide quality education to over 50 percent of the country’s 250 million school children. Your editors believe that these hasty and ill-considered circulars of several state governments can severely damage India’s K-12 education system.
The letter/petitions of NISA, Society for Unaided Private Schools of Rajasthan, FICCI Arise, Independent English Schools Association, Maharashtra and Action Committee Unaided Recognised Private Schools, Delhi are presented below: