Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], September 12 (ANI): Managements of private schools in Andhra Pradesh have requested the state government to relax the fee fixation rule in order to help the already burdened sector, and for the 'survival of budget private schools' since they have been shut for the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mentioning the financial crisis that the private schools are facing due to COVID-19, the President of National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) Dr Kulbhushan Sharma said, "According to a research, the revenue of private schools in India fell down from Rs 15 lakh crores to 7.5 lakh crores. 80 per cent of these schools are low budget private schools. Financial stress on them is increased with EMIs for buses, insurance, loans from financiers, teachers' salaries, ESI, property tax, electricity bills etc."
He also alleged that a teacher couple with nominal income in the state committed suicide, indicating the intensity of the financial crisis the private schools are facing. "Many died, many got heart attacks due to loss of jobs," he said.
Calling the fee fixation rules in Andhra Pradesh 'more troublesome', Sharma said, "There is a historic judgment that private schools have autonomy, but it is being violated in many areas. Andhra has been a gateway of education, particularly for technical education. It is a role model for India. While the crisis situation is continuing, government orders have been very suppressive."
Appealing to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sharma said, "Sir, you have been very cooperative with the education sector. We request you to help with the survival of budget private schools. That will be helpful to teachers and children."
The General Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Private Unaided Schools Management Association (APPUSMA) Tulasi Kumar said, "Crisis has continued in private schools since last 17-18 months because of COVID. Lakhs of private school teachers are not getting their salaries as schools are not getting fees because the parents are pushed into financial troubles."
"Hundreds of schools are getting closed down. Private schools accommodate around 5 lakh teachers and non-teaching members. They all are not getting salaries as there is no revenue for the schools. Even after the physical reopening of the schools, only 20-30 per cent of children are attending the schools and fees are not getting generated. We earnestly appeal to the Chief Minister to help out the unaided private schools in the state of Andhra Pradesh," he added. (ANI)