Thousands of teachers and staff members from various private schools in Karnataka, under the umbrella of Karnataka Private Unaided School Managements, Teaching and Non Teaching Staff Coordination Committee (KPMTCC), took to the roads in Bengaluru as part of a massive protest organised against the state government. The protesters demanded that the steep 30% reduction of school fees ordered by the State Primary and Secondary Education Department should be withdrawn.
While the state government order was issued keeping in mind the financial hardships faced by parents, school managements say that with the steep fee cut, they won’t be able to continue paying their staff.
The teachers made their way to Freedom Park after gathering at the City Railway Station in Majestic. “I am doing all the work that is needed to help students. We are making videos and trying to help students who are at home. Still there is no justice for us as we are getting less than half the salary. Some parents requested us to come to their homes and teach students but we are not being paid. We too have children and homes to take care of”, Shrigalika, a teacher of DAV Public School in Mysuru said.
Shwetha, another teacher working in New Horizon High School in Bengaluru said, “We have gathered here to protest against the 30% fee cut that govt proposed, it is unfair towards us teachers who have been working through the pandemic for the future of the nation.”
Some private schools managements have already approached the Karnataka High Court over the matter. A delegation of school managements had also met Medical Education and Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar earlier this month seeking that the fee cut be restricted to 15%. They also sought grants from the government to help them stay afloat.
An order by the government on January 30 had restricted the schools from collecting beyond 70% of their tuition fees, it had also barred schools from collecting any other fees such as development fee, library fee among others.