Private schools in Karnataka incurred a loss Rs 2,424 crore in 2020, states the Association of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) in a submission made to the Karnataka High Court. KAMS cited a survey of member schools wherein school managements reported huge financial loss because of a number of factors such as reduced student enrollment numbers, non-payment of fees and unpaid RTE arrears by the state government.
The association claims that this loss is likely to be aggravated by a Karnataka state government directive on January 30 asking private schools to slash fees by 30 percent for the academic year 2020-21. KAMS has appealed in its submission to the high court to “revoke the unfair code”. The unfair code refers to the fee cut order of the government.
According to the survey non-admitted student revenue loss stands at Rs 16.9 crore and partial fees payment deficit is at Rs 18.42 crore for 2020-21. Out of its 3,655 member schools, KAMS collected data from 60 schools to estimate the overall estimated loss that private schools have suffered. The 60 schools that were surveyed have lost Rs.38.92 crore in fees arrear payments.
In a press release, KAMS said that among the schools that have been affected, private budget schools (Rs.35,000 per annum category) have suffered disproportionately post the COVID-19 lockdown of schools. “The Education Department has been nonchalant on the admission process of 2020-21 and 2021-22. Fee relaxations have been offered to parents without consulting school managements or bothering about the financial implications of these regulatory cuts on private school budgets,” said the press release.
The survey found that there has been a 30 percent decrease in student admissions in 2020-21. “Some parents have taken transfer certificates and moved out of town. Since schools have gone online, some have also decided to move to smaller schools. Some have also admitted their children to government schools while some have even left with arrears of the previous year’s fees pending,” says D Shashi Kumar general secretary, KAMS.
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