Responding to Karnataka Education Minister S. Suresh Kumars appeal, teachers of state-run schools agreed to donate a day's salary to their counterparts in private schools, as they have not been paid since April due to the Covid-induced lockdown, an official said on Wednesday.
"Government teachers have agreed to donate a day's salary to pay our counterparts in private schools, as they are in distress due to non-payment by their managements, which are unable to raise funds due to lockdown," said State High School Assistant Teachers' Association president H.K. Manjunath.
With hundreds of schools remaining shut across the southern state since March 25 when the lockdown was enforced and extended to contain coronavirus, managements of private and unaided institutions have not been able to collect fees from their students or borrow funds to pay monthly salaries to their faculty since April.
"As schools are yet to resume classes after summer due to rising Covid cases in the state, especially in Bengaluru, their managements could not collect fees from their students till date, resulting in non-payment of their teachers' salaries for 3 months since April," said Manjunath.
Though the private-run schools' association rushed to the state government for relief funds to pay 3-month salaries to their teacher-members, there was no official response to the plea due to resource crunch in the treasury.
"While Kumar appealed to us to donate 2-day salary for our counterparts in private schools, we have agreed to pay for a day, as we have already given similar amount to the Kodagu and north Karnataka flood relief fund in September 2019 and the chief minister's relief fund recently," said Manjunath.
About 1.4 lakh teachers in private and unaided schools hope to partly mitigate their hardship with the donation of their counterparts in the state-run schools.
The Karnataka State Primary School Teachers' Association (KSPSTA), however, said its members were yet to decide on donating a day's salary as they have already paid similar amount to the CM's Covid-19 relief fund in April.
"Our members have already paid for CM's flood relief fund last year and Covid-19 relief fund in April though their income is not on par with that of high school teachers and they too have been facing crisis due to lockdown and extension of vacation," KSPSTA secretary N. Chandru told IANS.