Govt chases private schools on job protection for teachers

Govt chases private schools on job protection for teachers

 The State government is moving to enforce a 12-year-old rule to provide job protection for teachers working in private unaided schools, which includes ensuring schools pay teachers salary on par with those working in state-run schools.

The Education department has asked private schools to furnish details of salary being paid to teachers.

As per the Karnataka Educational Institutions (Terms and Conditions of Service of Employees in Private Unaided Primary and Secondary Educational Institutions) Rules, 2005, authorities say schools are bound to maintain pay parity with government school teachers, keep service registers and recruit professionally-qualified teachers among other requirements. The 2005 Rules were notified when the JD(S)-BJP coalition was in power, but not enforced in full.

"Primarily, we want to know if schools are complying with payment of salary through banks and whether minimum wage is followed. By and large, schools pay salaries through cheques, but it is a fact that schools are not paying minimum wages," Commissioner for Public Instruction P C Jaffer said.

In this context, minimum wage is the basic pay that government school teachers get - Rs 13,600 for a primary school teacher and Rs 17,650 for a high school teacher. There are over 19,000 unaided schools in the state, most of them following syllabus prescribed by the state government.

"The idea here is to make sure teachers in private schools are also considered human, because they put in the same amount of work like a teacher in a government school," former primary and secondary education minister and JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti said. Horatti is pursuing job protection for private school teachers through the Legislature Committee on Government Assurances that he chairs.

Horatti added that rules require schools to also maintain service books, which he said will curb arbitrary layoffs.

The Associated Managements of English Medium Schools in Karnataka (KAMS) has flayed the move. "Firstly, there's no legal basis for the government to fix a minimum wage for teachers in private schools," KAMS general secretary D Shashi Kumar said.

"In a school with 400 kids, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that we take Rs 707 from each one toward salaries. This will go up to over Rs 900 per child if the government enforces the 2005 Rules, which will burden students," he said. "Also, salary is a matter of contract between the school and the teacher, and is not within the domain of public law."

DH News Service


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