Karnataka

Schools say they may be forced to slash salaries if fees are cut

The pandemic, which affected the workforce across sectors like aviation, hospitality and tourism, did not spare teachers, many of whom either lost their jobs or were forced to take salary cuts. And while other sectors are slowly showing signs of recovery, teachers may face another round of salary cuts, if the State government accepts the Department of Public Instruction’s proposal to slash fees by 30% for the current academic year.

School managements said that they may have no choice but to do so if the government goes ahead with the fee cut. D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said that they had devised a plan to provide relief to parents. “We have asked school managements to not collect certain types of fees that managements do not incur. But enforcing a blanket fee cut is not feasible for us. We will have to once again cut the salaries of our teachers,” he said. He also added that they will have to take this up as a measure as a majority of the parents have still not paid the school fees for the current academic year.

Mansoor Ali Khan, member, board of management, DPS Group of Schools, said that if the government imposes this fee cut, they may be forced to remove teachers from their payroll. “One size does not fit all and we have told each school to waive fees after keeping in mind their financial situation and the situation of the parents who may be in distress due to the pandemic,” he said.

The Management of Independent CBSE Schools’ Association (MICSA) has asked the school managements to reach out to parents under stress and help in whatever way they can as well as devise a plan to stabilise the situation for children and parents.

While parents are hoping for some relief, teachers, whose salaries we cut in June/July, are worried. Many teachers who were not paid salaries had resorted to other means to earn a living even while several schools were hiring teachers on a contract basis and paying them by hour for every online class they were conducting.

The DPI had submitted its report to the State government after a meeting with representatives of parents’ associations and private school managements regarding concerns over the fee structure for the current academic year. They suggested a 30% fee cut on the grounds that school managements will not incur recurring or infrastructural expenditure as most of the classes are conducted online.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:29:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/schools-say-they-may-be-forced-to-slash-salaries-if-fees-are-cut/article33670226.ece

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