– Sukanya Nandy
About 400-500 schools in Karnataka may soon shut down as they are unable to maintain expenses due to the Covid-19 induced mass closure of schools since March this year.
The Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) general secretary D Sashi Kumar told EducationWorld the reason behind such a move is mainly due to “financial constraints”. Kumar added, “It is due to the pandemic situation that schools are facing financial constraints. Most of the schools which opened up in the past three years are finding it difficult to sustain themselves. They are not getting enough admissions, plus there’s an uncertainty as to when schools will reopen. Some schools had taken loans and there are other expenditures as well which they are finding difficult to maintain. In this situation, when there is no support from the government or the society, they are planning to shut down as they are burdened with financial limitations, especially the primary and pre-primary startups. The management is not able to run and want to close it.”
Kumar added that some managements are willing to lease their schools, others want to sell it.
“The schools which are shutting down are affiliated to the state board and operated out of small properties with annual fees of up to Rs 15,000. Such schools find it hard to find buyers since they won’t be able to scale up due to lack of space. The parent community might not be able to afford a larger fee structure,” Prasanna Kumar, CEO of School Ventures told TOI.
Earlier, Karnataka primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar stated that the Karnataka government is yet to decide on reopening of schools and colleges in the state. “There is no plan to reopen them now. Suggestions and inputs from MLAs, educators, school managements, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders of the system will be looked into before taking a final decision,” he said.
Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has ordered a three-week mid-term holiday for government, aided and unaided schools following the state board syllabus starting from October 12 to 30 in the wake of many teachers having contracted coronavirus. However, the order is not applicable to schools following the CBSE, ICSE and international curriculum.
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