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Teachers livelihood has to be protected: Rustom Kerawalla

April 16, 2020

The seven indicators of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were received with optimism as India has seen a splurge of Covid 19 cases during the recent weeks of lockdown. While the nationwide shutdown has limited the spread of the epidemic, the government will have to initiate a lot more measures before India flattens the curve.

In the process, the country has witnessed job losses across the organized and unorganized sectors with many having to live with hefty pay cuts owing to loss in business. Many international organizations have revised the forecast for India’s GDP and those figures are not positive for India’s growth.

Sectors like education and skilling which are operating under lockdown and lacking funds to pay salaries are expecting some assistance from the government. Several state governments across India have already issued circulars directing schools not to collect fees in order to tide over the tough times parents are going through. However, over five lakh private schools which employ over two crore teaching and non-teaching staff are staring at a bleak future while they continue to provide e-learning classes to the students.

Rustom Kerawalla, Chairman, Ampersand Group and Former Chairman, VIBGYOR Group of Schools states that while schools are supporting the students and their parents during this period, institutions have a responsibility towards the crores of teaching and non-teaching staff. “The seven-step guideline by our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to keep the nation safe and secure is highly welcome. The government should also take cognizance of the millions of teaching and non-teaching staff who are tirelessly striving for the cause of uninterrupted education through various e-learning solutions. There are many who haven’t received salaries or have been deferred due to paucity of funds, which poses a huge threat to their survival and livelihood.”

Mr. Kerawalla proposed that the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India should announce interest free loans for parents and educational institutions so that there can be continuity of education and salaries can be given to the teaching and non-teaching staff. “I urge the PMO, Ministry of Human Resources, Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of India to take urgent notice of the situation and make zero interest loans available to parents and educational institutions to help them pay fees and navigate through urgent and immediate expenses of their institutions.”

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