A massive protest organized against the state government’s ruling mandating a 30% fee cut in private schools was held in Bangalore with protesters numbering in their thousands. Teachers, members of the non-teaching staff from the unaided schools of Karnataka were among the protesters. The protest march was held under the umbrella of Karnataka Private Unaided School Managements, Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff Coordination Committee (KPMTCC).
Notably, the Primary and Secondary Education Department had mandated a 30% reduction of school fees in private unaided schools in view of the economic hardships faced by the parents due to the pandemic-related disruption of the economic activities.
The private schools contended that the 30% reduction in the school fees is unreasonable and inconsiderate and will jeopardize their operations and sustainability as they will be incapacitated to pay the salaries to their teaching and non-teaching staff.
The gathering that the protest occasioned was spectacular and the visuals showed the large swathes of the metropolitan area teeming with protestors. A notable instance was of the Anand Rao circle area in Bengaluru which was seen packed with protesters as they headed towards Freedom Park from the venue of the gathering at the City Railway Station in Majestic.
The protesting teachers voiced their grievances and said that while they remained committed to providing education to the children in the lockdown period by making videos and teaching and assessing online, their efforts are being disregarded and their profession is being imperiled by the directives of the state. They said that the recent fee-cut directive is tantamount to injustice to the entire teaching community.
The management of the private schools has approached the courts against the directive. The schools have appealed against the order in the Karnataka High Court. A delegation of school management had also approached the Medical Education and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar to voice their concerns requesting to tune down the fee-cut to 15 % from 30%. The delegation has also requested the Minister to consider some measure of financial relief as a grant to help the unaided schools sustain. The leaders of the private schools opined that the state needs to step up and save the private schools that are significant contributors to the education sector with grants and investment and appealed for concessions in taxes and freedom from undue demands with respect to the fee reduction.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.