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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Need Covid relief package for private school teachers: Karnataka education minister to CM after flak

Management bodies of private schools in Karnataka have been criticising the government for not extending a helping hand to them amid Covid hardships.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 21, 2021 7:15:57 am
punjab, punjab education, punjab govt, govt schools, rabta muhim, covid-19, punjab covid-19, online education, online classesThe campaign was aimed to facilitate the contact between parents and teachers via phone. (Representative Image/Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

Following pressure from several private school managements, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar Thursday requested Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to announce a Covid relief package for teachers and staff of unaided institutions.

“Teachers working in unaided private educational institutions have made remarkable contributions towards improving the quality of education. However, they are now in huge financial stress due to the lockdown as educational institutions are facing problems in paying their salaries,” Kumar said.

He also noted that several teachers had begun working under daily wages and it was the government’s responsibility to help them. “Therefore, I request you to announce a special economic package for teachers and non-teaching staff working in unaided institutions,” Kumar wrote.

Minister’s move a day after pvt managements call for resignation

The Education Minister’s move comes a day after the Karnataka Private School Managements, Teaching and Non-teaching Staff Coordination Committee (KPMTCC) demanded the resignation of Kumar and other senior officials.
“The government has decided to neglect staff associated with the non-aided education sector even during the pandemic, with no relief package announced yet, which is highly condemnable, even after repeated requests,” the letter addressed to Kumar mentioned.

The KPMTCC also alleged “widespread corruption” in the department, adding that it has led to the government’s delay in paying close to Rs 600 crore as Right To Education (RTE) reimbursement dues to private schools.
Earlier, private school managements have protested the government’s order allowing them to collect only 70 per cent of tuition fees. Managements have been demanding that the government revoke the “unscientific” decision, citing attrition among teachers.

“While school managements struggle to pay back loans, teachers leaving to find other part-time jobs have also affected our functioning. Now with a third wave being predicted, the hesitancy among parents to pay fees for next year is on the rise. This is at a time when many refused to pay for the past academic year saying that schools remained closed,” D Shashikumar, general secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) said.

He added that the managements had apprised the minister and top officials of the education department of their “ill-fate” repeatedly, but to no benefit.

The government had Wednesday recognised government-aided teachers as frontline workers, putting them on priority for vaccination, among other groups such as those supplying LPG cylinders, electricity linemen, etc.

Last week, State Legislative Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti had written to CM Yediyurappa, pointing out that several teachers deputed for bypoll duties had succumbed to Covid. Horatti, who has been representing the Teachers Constituency in the Legislative Council for 42 years now, had noted that the government had “unfortunately shown no interest” in providing health facilities safeguarding them from the pandemic.

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