Srinagar, Sep 19: Educational institutions in Kashmir remaining closed for more than a year has led to many teachers in private schools losing their jobs, despite these establishments collecting fee from the parents even during the lockdown.
The J&K Government recently stated that it would seek “audited reports” on fee structure and student enrollment in private schools. The move came in the wake of complaints regarding non-payment of salaries to the teachers in these institutions and termination of their services.
It’s in place to mention here that there were reports that soon after the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed and the schools shifted to online mode they reduced their staff by 50% and the ones who were asked to take rest were left with nowhere to go.
A teacher, who lost his job during this period, while talking to Precious Kashmir said, “There are many people like me who were asked to sit at home. We had even offered to work on half salaries but the school managements refused.”
He said, “We have been struggling since August last year when J&K’s special status was abrogated and schools were closed. Our miseries started on that very day. The institutions we had served for so many years dumped us and left us in lurch.”
Another sacked teacher said, “The decision of the government to seek the audited report of the fee received by these schools is a welcome move. This will bring to fore the real face of these school managements who have used us and then dumped us.”
Media reports quoting Principal Secretary School Education Department (SED) Asgar Samoon said that complaints against private schools were pouring in frequently. “Even some of the schools have terminated their teaching staff without any notice despite the ongoing pandemic,” Samoon had said.
“The government will seek audited reports on fee structure, student enrollment and salaries paid to the teachers from August 2019 till date,” the Principal Secretary had said.
An owner of a private school said, “We have no objection in filing the audited reports of the fee we have received during all these months. Let everyone come to know how much fee the parents have paid and how much money we have earned.”
He said, “We have invested huge amounts in our institutions and returns have been zero. We are seeing our institutions crumbling. No one is looking at our losses. The managements of the private schools are being demonized for no reason.”