Many mid to lower level schools are in a crisis, and have not paid salaries properly to the teachers and staff. What made it worse was the previous government’s failure to release fee reimbursements for admitting students under the Right to Education (RTE) scheme in the last two years.
A senior School Education Department official said several associations representing private schools had met School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi to appraise him about their grievances and were promised that their issues would be looked into shortly.
“The bailout package for private schools includes reviewing fees structure, releasing funds for RTE fees reimbursement, regulating fee collection and solving issues related to school bus fitness and institution recognition certificates,” he added.
The immediate task before the State government is to stop the spread of the much-feared third wave of the pandemic and restore total normalcy at the earliest. “All the issues raised by private schools will be sorted out and the relief package would be announced once normalcy is restored across the State,” the official said.
KR Nandhakumar, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Private Nursery, Primary, Matriculation, Higher Secondary and CBSE Schools’ Association, who had met the Minister recently said he had promised to look into the issues very soon.
Most of the private schools catering to the lower and mid income families were on the verge of closure due to heavy financial loss due to non-collection of fees, including last year’s dues, Nandhakumar said.
“Except for premier schools, most private institutions were not able to pay salaries in the last one and half years, forcing many staff to leave. Only the government can save them by announcing an aid package,” he added.
DC Elangovan, secretary, Federation of Associations of Private Schools in Tamil Nadu, said the schools and their associations were eagerly waiting for a solution.