Addressing the issue of cash-strapped private schools struggling to balance their financial commitments, Lokesh Talikatte, president of the Registered Unaided Private School Association (RUPSA) of Karnataka, has written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to restructure the loan period for private schools in the state by providing a moratorium of at least one year.
Referring to the data on the Students Tracking System (STS) website, Talikatte also mentioned that around 2,500 private schools in the state have already shut down or are on the verge of closure after failing to manage their finances.
The association believes that the financial instability in private schools is caused by the education officials and political leaders who influenced the parents against paying the school fees citing the pandemic.
“During the pandemic, a lot of parents refrained from paying the school fees citing online classes. Many political leaders and government authorities took advantage of the situation and made public statements to gain brownie points politically. This has led to debts piling up at private schools that are struggling to pay their electricity and water bills, building tax, and fire safety expenses,” said Talikatte.
The Central government had provided a moratorium in the academic year 2020-21 to private schools and the association believes that there is a need to provide similar relief for this year too.
“The Central government had earlier restructured the loans for private schools and extended the time limit to repay the loans. However, this year the situation has become worse and we are expecting the government to restructure the loan period once again for at least a year to ease the burden on private schools. If the situation continues many more private schools will close down and thousands of employees will be left jobless,” said Talikatte.