Several school managements reported a shortage of funds and their inability to buy textbooks from the government.About 13,000 private schools function in Tamil Nadu providing education to lakhs of students from elementary to secondary level.
These private managements have to provide salaries to more than 2.6 lakh teachers.Tamilnadu Textbook Corporation, the nodal agency to print textbooks in the State, has more than three crore textbooks ready but only a few self-financing schools have approached.
KR Nandhakumar, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Private Nursery, Primary, Matriculation, Higher Secondary, and CBSE Schools Association, said the schools tapped into their savings to pay salaries and procure textbooks for their students during the first total lockdown in March 2020.“Many schools could not give salaries to its teaching staff after October 2020 since parents could not pay fees due to financial constraints.
Despite the High Court order that fees could be collected in instalments, many parents are yet to pay last year’s dues,” he said.Stating that many private schools could not even pay electricity bills, Nandhakumar said, “this year, there are no resources left for many institutions.
”Pointing out that the State government also did not reimburse RTE fees for the previous year, he said “reading the current situation, the School Education Department should provide textbooks at free of cost.
”Echoing similar views of Nandha-kumar, Federation of Associations of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu secretary DC Elangovan also urged the government to give interest-free loans to the private schools in financial crisis.“We had urged the previous government to provide financial assistance last year. We hope the new government would look into our issues and save from the financial crisis,” he said.
B Saraswathi, principal of a private school in Pammal, said, “we have not purchased the textbooks till now. As the online classes would be starting soon, we have asked the teachers and students to download e-textbooks for time being.”