About 600 private schools in Uttar Pradesh claim they are struggling to pay salaries to their staff as parents are not paying the fee. Over 20,000 teachers and 6,000 employees in these private unaided budget schools have either not received the salary in half or in staggered manner since March. The school managements claim they don’t have resources to pay teachers.
Atul Kumar, president, association of private schools of UP told Hindustan Times that majority of poor parents are unable to pay fees and the schools are unable to pay salaries during the lockdown. Also the owner of St Basil School, he said, “Ours is a budget school where we take nominal fees from parents. Teachers were made part-payment in March and not paid in April or May.”
Anil Agarwal, president of Unaided Private Schools Association (UPSA) has issued an appeal to parents to pay fees. He said non-payment of fee has posed a problem in payment of salaries and overheads like electricity bills, IT overheads, provident fund as they don’t have any other source of income. “We are not pressurising parents to pay the fee. However, majority of them choose private schools because they can afford it. There has been no increase in fees due to the pandemic situation and we are requesting them to pay only on monthly basis. Parents should also show their solidarity to the cause of education during this lockdown,” he said.
The UPSA has also written to the Lucknow district magistrate, Abhishek Prakash to direct parents to pay the fees, at least for the month of April. Sushil Gupta, president of Prelude School, Agra said the situation is were able to pay only half the salary to their teachers. He added that the situation is unlikely to improve soon as more than 60 per cent of total fees is spent in paying staff salaries.
A number of schools also said many parents aren’t paying fees hoping that the government would announce fee waiver.
Source: Hindustan Times
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