Short of teachers, pvt schools struggle with classrooms

Short of teachers, Bengaluru's private schools struggle to manage physical, online classrooms

Government urged to provide financial aid for teachers working with private unaided schools

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo

Three days into the resumption of physical classes for class 9 and above in the state, private unaided schools are grappling with a shortage of teachers.

Many have quit the profession due to the continuing lockdown, closed schools, loss of pay, the challenge of handling digital classes, migration and other reasons. Their absence is now impacting activities at schools.

The problem is significantly affecting private unaided schools, especially those located in Bengaluru. Private school management representatives said they are short by at least 50% of the teachers.

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Lokesh Talikatte, president, Recognised Unaided Private Schools Association in Karnataka, said: "The schools are facing a severe shortage of teachers. In some schools, the shortage is up to 60%. Several schools have retained only 40% staff for online teaching and are now not in a position to hire them back due to the uncertain situation."

Bid adieu to profession

D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Management of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said several have bid adieu to the profession in the last two years.

“This is the reason why we have urged the government to provide financial aid for teachers working with private unaided schools,” he said.

While it was easier to manage only online classes, schools are struggling to deploy them for both online and offline teaching modes, said the principal of a private unaided school in Bengaluru North.

Gajendra, a private school teacher in Bengaluru who migrated to his hometown in Kalaburagi due to the pandemic, told DH that the school management cut 50% of his salary when the first lockdown was imposed and schools were shut.

“It wasn’t easy to live in Bengaluru drawing just 50% of the salary,” Gajendra said. “So, I decided to migrate back to my home village and take up agricultural activities.”

But even the schools are unsure about hiring teachers. “Physical classes resumed after a long gap, but there is still uncertainty and the government may still close the schools again,” said a management representative of a private unaided school in Bengaluru.