Both the premier bodies of Budge Private Schools in Telangana and India demanded intervention of the Prime Minister as an increasing number of educationists are committing suicide leading to an Educational Emergency
Educationists representing 20 states, 41 state Associations, 65000 Schools, 22 Million Children would be holding a Protest under the banner of NISA on 5th September, on the eve of Teachers day to seek the attention of the Prime Minister as well as CMs of various states
Education must be considered an essential service and should be given priority: Dr. Kulbhushan Sharma, National President of NISA
Educators Suicides must be considered as the murders by the system: NISA National President
If Schools are Temples, why impose and collect Property Tax?
Telangana Recognised School Management Association (TRSMA) a family of 10,000 schools 30 lakh students and 2 lakh teaching and non-teaching staff and National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA), a platform that brings together Budget Private Schools (BPS), representing 20 states, 41 state Associations, 65000 Schools, 22 Million Children addressed a press conference in Hyderabad on Monday.
The conference was organised in the wake of increased number of suicides being committed by educationists due to financial problems because of indefinite closure of schools for the past 18 months.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Kulbhushan Sharma, National President of NISA and an activist with expertise in bringing solutions for Private Schools of India, particularly for affordable private schools said hundreds of educationists of Private and Budget School Owners/Correspondents are committing suicides across the country. Mr Subramaniyam and his wife Ms Rohini, belong to Kovilakunta, Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh and Mr Pradeep, Mallapur, Jagityal District Telangana committed suicide. It is a highly disturbing situation and it is on the rise. Many have lost their lives reportedly due to financial burden owing to lack of income during the COVID-19 pandemic which is now leading to an Educational Emergency situation in the country.
Educators fought with corona and conquered it, but failed to fight with private financers who lent money to them. And unable to pay huge interest to the loans they borrowed as banks didnt lend them, the school owners have committed suicides.
Dr Kulbhushan Sharma told his colleagues not to commit suicide. Whenever you develop such tendencies, please speak to us at NISA, we will come to your rescue, he told them. He also urged both the Central and State governments to come up with some financial support solutions for educators.
He demanded an ex-gratia amount to be announced by the government. He urged RBI and Government to come up with solutions to help about 5,00,000 Budget Private schools in India. They are ending life not because of their faults, but because of the system failure.
Budget School Owners must give be given security free loans.
India lives in villages. So private schools have come up everywhere to cater to everybody. India has 5 lakh schools across India. It also has 24,200 CBSE, 2200 ICSC, 100 IB Board and other schools. 50% budget schools charge less than 1000/- fee. Even in that fee, they offer discounts and effectively they collect Rs 750 to 850/- he said. Nearly 30 crore people depend indirectly on schools for their livelihood.
Education is not considered an essential service in this country and is not given priority. The education sector must be made pandemic proof said Dr Kulbhushan Sharma, National President of NISA
Mr Y. Shekar Rao, President of TRSMA said Prime Minister and Finance Minister should consider the economic crisis faced by Budget Private Schools due to non-collection of fee. Hardly the schools are receiving 10% fee. The Alliance has sent a representation to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister many times but didn’t get any response. The government took some initiatives to save other sectors like traders, who were included in the CGTMSE scheme offering unsecured loans.
Traders who were not part of Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) were added to the scheme to avail the loans and why not educators, questioned Madhusudhan Sadula, TRSMA General secretary and Vice President NISA.
Government should provide loans at the lowest rate of interest through all banks in the country to private schools which are in a higher financial crisis as schools are shut for well over 18 months and are left to their fate without any income sources.
7,00,000,00 School owners, Teaching and Non-Teaching employees’ lives are at a Stake, Mr Rao added.
TRSMA President welcomed the decision of the Telangana Government to reopen all educational institutions from September 1st and he thanked the Chief Minister of the state. The announcement comes as a sigh of relief to 11000 schools in Telangana and 4 lakh employees working in those schools, impacting 33 lakh students he said.
50% of the 11000 schools in Telangana state are under the private sector and the remaining half is government schools. Government allocates a budget of Rs 17,000 crore to run government schools. If there are no Private schools, the Government needs to spend another 17000crore per year. This means Budge Private Schools are saving Rs 17000 crore to the government they added.
They refuted the charge that Budge Private Schools have collected huge monies in the name of online classes. The spokesperson denied the charges and said they collected 65% fee for the academic year 2019-20, 10%(or even less) for 2020-2021 and literally no collection for 2021-2022 academic year.
70% of Budget Private Schools are housed in rental properties. As schools are shut for 18 months, they are burdened with rentals, electricity, water, taxes for the vehicles, property tax etc.
They want an exemption for property and vehicle tax. If schools are temples, why impose a property tax on them, they asked.
The financial support of Rs 2000/- per month and 25 kgs rice extended to the private schools gave some relief to the teachers. But, it was done only for three months—April, May and June. The help for the months of July and August is yet to be materialised, they informed.
Even if educational institutions are to be open from 1st September, it will take a fortnight for the schools to gear up to open as many teaching and non-teaching staff have left them and went in search of gainful employment. There may be a shortage of 1.5 lakh staff to open the schools.
TRSMA estimated that due to various reasons, 3500 schools, particularly in rural areas are likely to be shut down and these schools can be saved if the government acts swiftly.
Students are experiencing educational loss of 2 to 3 years, they said. 75% of students are not in touch with schools. Only 25% of students are in contact with teachers. So some students must have also become child labour, they expressed their fears.
Today India is experiencing an Educational Emergency. We want the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers to act swiftly to save children, teaching staff, schools and protect the education sector, they demanded.
The Press Conference was attended by several TRSMA members who include Uma Maheshwar Rao, Yadagiri and others.