– Sukanya Nandy
Schools and colleges have been shut down since March 2020 due to Covid-imposed restrictions, which has led to many educational institutions cutting down the salaries of teachers. Hence, the staff and managements of several schools in Karnataka gathered a protest on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park to highlight their grim financial situation.
More than 6,500 teaching, non-teaching staffs as well as school managements took part in the protests. They demanded vaccination on priority, medical insurance as well as food kits.
D Shashi Kumar, General Secretary, Karnataka Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools told EducationWorld, “There are various hiccups in the government’s day-to-day circulars. During the month of May, the Karnataka state government had assured food kits to teachers. Apart from that, there are issues pertaining to infrastructure, safety and security and the fact that no admissions have been done by the parents. Hence, on behalf of the teaching and non-teaching community, we are supporting these issues, which include teachers be considered as Covid warriors and given vaccines in the first phase. As assured by the Chief Minister of Karnataka, we are seeking food kit, honorarium and health insurance.”
He highlighted that the Vidyagama programme will start from next month. The programme will resume in a revised format from January 1. Classes have been scheduled to be held on campuses and will involve aided and unaided (private) schools along with government schools. Students will be divided into groups of 15 to 20 depending on the number of teachers and classrooms available in each school and all Covid-19 protocols will be followed. Timetables will be set with three classes of 45 minutes each.
A finalised circular regarding reopening of schools, fee payements and admissions have also been demanded by the protesters.
The Chief Minister had also sent officials to speak with the protesters.
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