Meagre Fee, Paltry Salaries

Private schooling cannot be reduced to just fee fixation; listen to the teachers who work in these schools
Meagre Fee, Paltry Salaries
"But for one unfortunate, who has got no rights; no law to protect him, and nobody to represent him in the court of justice against exploitation. And, that is, the private school teacher." [Representational Image] File/ GK

BY MOHAMMAD SALEEM KHAN

In this country all animals, wild or domestic, are well represented and protected. There are people who have devoted their lives for the rights of cows and others for the rights of crows.

You can keep a dog in your home with its rights. Even stray dogs have rights and there are people and organisations to protect their rights. Trees and plants have got laws which protect them against any exploitation.

But for one unfortunate, who has got no rights; no law to protect him, and nobody to represent him in the court of justice against exploitation. And, that is, the private school teacher.

The rationale for his existence in the society is beyond question. He is earnestly required by the society. Devoid of his services the society shall suffer an irreparable loss.

The government school department is continuously at war with these teachers through its inbuilt authority to govern them. Actually, the man in the government school system, whether a peon or the highest officer, have lost their credibility in the eyes of the society.

And that is the rationale which supports the existence of private school teacher. The man in the govt system has wrongly developed the notion that his lost credibility would return to him only and only when he is able to destroy the private school system.

The thankless people who would have been thankful to the private school teachers are against him. Yes, right from the common man to the top bureaucracy and the fee fixation committee and the court of justices are all against him.

I am not talking about the elite schools who enjoyed the favour of bureaucracy as well as that of the politicians in the past. They allotted them prime state lands on lease against nominal payments.

They enjoyed freedom of increasing the rates of fees and donations exorbitantly. Now, they have no problem with the day to day circulars issued against the private schools in order to crush them financially. They have crores at their back as reserves.

They can pay to their staff even better than the royal staff of the govt schools. They don’t have the problem even with the collection of huge donation and exorbitantly fixed fees because they are serving the purpose of the elite class.

The economy schools emerged just because the people having lost confidence in the government schools and not having resources to avail luxury of elite schools, created small trusts of their own from village to village and from town to town. They created their own schools giving them facilities they could afford.

They fixed salaries of teachers according to their income and provided minimal living to the unemployed educated youth of the locality. All these schools contributed their best towards the uplift of poor villagers.

The schools, no doubt, played wonders in terms of their output but the management of these schools continued to exploit the labour of their teachers, always paying them less than the unskilled labourers.

The infrastructure provided to these schools, generally sub-standard, because there is no provision of govt aids for these schools; instead the govt is bent upon putting ban on the collection of any donation from parents.

Because of the govt decisions the growth and the development of the economy schools has come to a stand-still. They can hardly pay to their staff, there is no question of increasing the meagre salaries because of the crushing policies of the govt.

The economy schools have engaged thousands of young boys and girls who otherwise would have committed suicide, or lost their balance of mind.

The govt must be obliged to the economy school managements for providing helping hand to the thousands of unemployed youth and should allow them to improvise the fee structure of their schools so as to be able to pay their staff at least half of the salaries paid to their equivalents in the royal staff of govt education department.

There are certain policies of the govt which make me wonder over the wit of the policy makers. Take for example the CPF policy. It is good and understandable that a member of royal staff must save at least 12% of his income for the rainy days.

But forcing a private school teacher drawing at the most 10,000 to deposit 24% as CPF, will make one laugh at the wisdom of the policy makers. With remaining 8000 or so the poor teacher is supposed to manage food, clothing, medicine, and every thing required to keep the body and soul of the family together. It is not possible at all.

The call of justice would have been that the govt should pay for both employees’ share and the employer’s share of private school teachers so that the employer may be able to put in that amount into the salary budget of the staff.

Another policy of the UT govt is just not understandable; that the govt is paying to the Royal staff for the education of their kids. They are helping those for the education of their wards whose income has grown 200% during the last 20 years and they don’t care about the Kisans and Mazdoors and private school teachers whose income has grown only 20% during the same period.

The private school association is a bunch of so many confusions, they don’t know whether they are representing the elite schools or small economy schools; they must differentiate between the two.

They are different worlds. One is rolling in pearls and gems and the other is striving to have two meals. One is meant for minting money because it deals with the affluent and the other is toiling to uplift the poor and downtrodden.

One need to be categorised as tax payer and other be funded to keep itself existent in the service of the poor. The govt must have a clear distinction between the two.

The govt has stopped any increase in the fee. Both for those who collected 10,000 per month and the other who was collecting only 500. One has 5 crores as a reserve and the other who is having 10,000 and that too lying in the pockets of parents as unpaid fee.

One is already paying efficiently to its staff and the other trying to assuage the plight of its poor staff by small steps. The elite schools have already rich infrastructure and poor economy school is waiting for the govt to reconsider its order for stopping the collection of small donations, so that it might be able to facilitate its students with a suitable washroom and drinking water facility.

Let us be rational and not authoritarian. Authority will surely be gone one day, and the rationality will be remembered by the world.

Author can be reached at: khannrk@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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