The state government has decided to ask teachers of all unaided private English-medium schools to give written undertakings, stating their monthly salary. The move, say officials, follows widespread complaints from teachers that they are being paid “abysmally low amounts”.
If the amount mentioned by the teacher does not tally with the statement provided by the school, the government will start a probe to get the correct picture. If the schools are found to have fudged figures, penal action will be taken against them, say officials, adding that the government may even ask the authorities to wind up.
School authorities are required to submit a declaration stating the wages of their staff while applying to the government to set up an instituion. Permission is granted only when the declarations match the government rules.
“We are fed up with settling the growing number of salary-related disputes between unaided English-medium schools and their teachers,” said deputy director, school education department, H.N. Ghosh. “Such schools are bound to follow certain rules vis-à-vis their salary-structure for teaching and non-teaching staff,” he explained.
According to school education department rules, all teachers of unaided private institutions should be paid on the same scale as their counterparts in state-run schools. But this is not happening, say officials. “Some schools are paying as low as Rs 2,000 a month to teachers with honours and post-graduate degrees,” a teacher said. “We welcome the government’s move,” she added.
Principal of Rajasthan Vidya Mandir Kajari Mukherjee admitted that not all teachers of her school receive the government-recognised salary. “But we find many educated young people grabbing our offers without paying attention to their pay,” she said.
More than 250 English-medium schools have sprung up in the city in the past few years to meet the growing demand for “English-medium education”. Over 30 applications for setting up private schools are still pending with the government, say school education department officials.