CHENNAI: Thirty-eight-year-old Vanitha’s son completed Class 10 this year. Since the next two years of his education is crucial for him to secure a seat in a reputed college, Vanitha is working twice as hard to pay her son’s school and tuition fees.
As a domestic worker in Mugalivakkam, Vanitha earns close to Rs 10,000 per month. Her husband who drives a share-auto and earns Rs 9,000.
“My husband had to leave his job at a firm during COVID-19 lockdown, where he earned Rs 20,000. And I was removed from work at two houses. Since then, we’ve been struggling financially. But despite these troubles, I want to provide good education for my son,” avers Vanitha.
She has somehow managed to pay Rs 40,000 school fees, but the hefty cost is pinching her monthly budget.
“For Class 11, they charge Rs 2,000 for one subject. I cannot afford that amount. Since his teachers are rushing through the chapters, my son is learning from YouTube videos,” adds Vanitha.
This is not an isolated case. Those working in unorganised sectors are struggling to make ends meet, as they’re still trying to secure a decent job. Paying school fees has now added to the burden.
G Murthy, a painter in KK Nagar, was forced to change her daughter’s school this year as he could not afford to pay fees and other expenses. “My daughter was moving to Class 6 and the school charged high fees. So I enrolled her in a matriculation school in Ramapuram where the annual fee is only Rs 30,000,” he says.