Published: 14th November 2020
What will happen to teachers and students with more schools closing during the pandemic?
According to a report, an association of private schools in Karnataka claims 400/500 schools may down the shutters as they have not been able to maintain expenses due to the COVID-19 closure
God made the idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board
-Mark Twain (1835-1910),
American writer and humourist
Post-Mark Twain’s era, we should replace ‘School Boards’ by ‘School Entrepreneurs’ who cater to the students outside the government school system. The private school managements cater to the moneybags who want the best education that money can buy. There were gradations there also to cater to the lesser buying capacity of the parents. Now the COVID-19 pandemic has toppled the apple-cart. While the top layer of the private school managements have the holding power for COVID-19 to pass-over, the layers below them are feeling the heat and looking for exit routes with least damage. But first, the facts as reported in the media.
According to a report, an association of private schools in Karnataka claims 400/500 schools may down the shutters as they have not been able to maintain expenses due to the COVID-19 closure since March 2020. According to the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, these are small schools in North Karnataka and interior areas in other regions and have been functioning for 3-4 years. Each of these schools has 100-200 students and most of them have not paid the pending fee or renewed their admissions for the current year.
According to the Association sources, several managements were willing to lease their schools. For most small schools, the blow came when the government ordered indefinite closure of schools in March just before the final exams – the time when fees are collected. In some cases, parents have not renewed admission of their wards for the current academic year in the belief that schools will not reopen in a hurry.
The dilemma is post-COVID-19, whenever that is, these middle-class parents and their wards will be left hanging like bats, neither unable to afford the high fees and accessories of elite corporate-type schools or crawl on their knees to government schools which they once spurned.
Then there is the question of teachers in such closing schools. The government schools will have no place for them and they won’t come up to the sophistication of elite schools.