A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Friday directed the CBSE/ICSE boards to enforce as a condition for affiliation of unaided schools that managements should pay a minimum monthly provisional salary of Rs.10, 000 for primary and middle school teachers, Rs.15,000 for secondary school teachers, and Rs.20,000 for senior secondary teachers, and a minimum monthly salary of Rs.6,000 and Rs.4,500 respectively to clerical staff and peons and class IV employees.

The Bench comprising Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair and Justice C.K. Abdul Rehim issued the directive as an interim measure till the Central government considered incorporating the condition in the affiliation rules regarding the payment of salaries to staff in unaided CBSE /ICSE schools in the light of the Right to Education Act. The State and Central governments should take a decision in consultation with each other and the CBSE/ICSE Board on the issue.

The court passed the order while disposing of a batch of writ petitions filed by various managements challenging the norms prescribed by the State government for issuing NoC for CBSE/ICSE schools.

The petitioners had challenged the norm that the CBSE/ICSE affiliated unaided schools should pay salaries and allowances on a par with the government school teachers and staff. The court observed that it had received letters complaining that teachers and others staff working in CBSE/ICSE affiliated schools in the State were paid meagre salaries. It also narrated the clever way in which the managements were paying salaries to them.

The practice was that the managers open separate bank accounts for school teachers in a bank near the school and the Principal operated the individual accounts of teachers by retaining the cheque books of teachers. The mangers paid them salaries through cheques. But the amount credited in the individual accounts of teachers were actually withdrawn by the Principals by getting cash cheques signed by the teachers simultaneously. The Principal after withdrawing the entire cash paid the low amounts to teachers and others as salary and pocket the balance amount.

The court said that unless fair wages were paid to both teaching and non-teaching staff and their service conditions reasonably fixed, the unaided schools would not get qualified teaching staff.