Challenging times for us – Private Schools Too

Vasudha Neel Mani
COVID19 has put everything to a stand still. The future is still in dark, we don’t know when we ll able to go to schools physically. I wont say that schools are shut because the classes are being conducted in every home of teachers around the world. India is no exception as all the teachers of all the private schools as well are multi tasking as they are balancing their household chores and educating young minds. In small towns in India,  where wifi and internet is a challenge, they have been trying their best to impart the best education. And we also need to introspect and reflect, who is their support system at this time and that is none other than their management, Principals who are working day in and day out to make things flawless. The management of private schools are working just like any other important segments of society but instead of getting any appreciation, they have been facing the flack for being unreasonable to expect the fees from the parents. Any system is like a chain and if any link is broken, whole system collapses.

Do we know that they are facing challenging and tough times and going through a lot of emotional, social, financial and mental stress. There is a lot of misconception that private schools have lot of funds in surplus and that’s not true. They don’t have any buried treasure. Lets understand that, when any institution is made, there are lot of resources needed, excessive amount of loans are borrowed from banks for the lands and resources are handed over to the society. Without empathizing with their difficulties,  everyone assumes that running schools is a money minting system and since they have lot of funds, they should give a fee rebate.

During these tough times, all private schools are working whole heartedly to give the best online education to their students. Teachers motivate their students, inspire them and keep their emotional connect on. No institution or organization can run without income. Private schools in the country, generate employment for millions of people. If these schools are not there, it can become a challenge for many more who are employed.

Lets talk some facts:

o   Have the banks waived off their loans? The moratorium has its own conditions where they are charging extra interest on all the loans. Mostly all the private schools have taken loans, over draft facility and all the transport have finance on annual contract. 
o   When the schools are fulfilling all their duties, preparing results, taking classes, paying off their loans later , then why so much uproar about waiving off school fee?
o   Even if schools are unable to attend the school due to this tragedy, the school is and will be conducting extra classes during morning/evening hours, Sunday, public holidays, Diwali vacations and many more with full responsibilities. To do all this, all the teachers will work extra to complete the syllabus by working overtime, then why reduction in fees? Will the parents pay extra to school then?
o   The parents in Govt/ Semi Govt sooner or later will get their salaries . Parents in private jobs will be paid too. Then why the fee waiver needed? Parents running their own businesses or professionals, will they give their goods or services for fee? Then why demands in waiving off the  school fees?
o   Teaching, non teaching staff , support staff working in school, should everyone not be paid for this time ? If the parents do not pay the fees, how is school expected to pay them. Lets think rationally and fair. Do not take fees from parents and pay teachers on time. These two directives are contradictory, impossible and ridiculous. Private schools do not have buried treasure.
o   Just as matter of waiving fees from private schools is being raised, will all higher education institution follow the same too?
o   Is the state govt or central govt who is being very harsh on private schools, ready to give 3 month grant or interest free loan to private schools? Why they have given 70 percent salaries to the govt employees?

All rules and regulations should be made keeping in mind all the partners and stake holders. Therefore it is of paramount importance that we think rationally and not do anything that causes a disruption in school system.

3 comments:

Rita Singh said...

Vasudha, this concise writing mentions in very simple logical way, the aspects that all stakeholders must pay attention to.
We all have been talking about these issues and getting frustrated with the situation.

SandeepDutt said...

For generations...there have not been many to understand the challenges of the teachers, of the schools and even more we are stifling entrepreneurial spirit of India.

SRINATH said...

Being associated with a group of schools for past 2 years heading their marketing and admissions, I fully support this view mam. Right from the days of lockdown we are working hard as a team to provide utmost support to the children through online classes and have on boarded the entire students and staff into online platforms which are not free eventually. We have spend lakhs on promoting awareness of COVID in mass media. But we receive many calls only to abuse us on asking for fee, fee waiver etc. As you likely said, how do people think we pay salaries and meet our expenses. Thank you mam for bringing to light these issues of teachers and private schools.