Pay teachers prescribed wages, dept tells schools

Lesson 1, Minimum Wages: School managements will face action if wage rules are not adhered to.

Cracking the whip on private schools and their means of recruitment, the Department of Public Instruction has asked all private schools to pay their teachers minimum wages.

A circular sent by the deputy directors of public instruction says that schools — government, private and aided — must pay the prescribed minimum wages to teachers.

The circular has been drafted based on the conditions laid down in the Karnataka Educational Institutions (Certain terms and conditions of service of employees in private un-aided Primary and Secondary and Pre-University Educational Institutions) Rules, 2005, said P C Jaffer, commissioner, Department of Public Instruction.

While the circular mentions that the managements of these schools will face action if the rules are not adhered to, the rules have no specifications on the action to be taken.

Schools will soon have to pay Rs 25,800 for primary school teachers and Rs 33,450 for high school teachers as per the circular. The circular also says that minimum wages are to be paid for assistants and group D Staff recruited at the school.

Shashi Kumar, general secretary, KAMS (Associated Managements of Private Schools In Karnataka), said that small schools will take a beating because of this. "Block Education Officers (BEOs) will use this to harass schools," he said.

He also said that for schools to fulfil this criterion, it would mean a 200%-300% hike in fee per year. "If this has to be implemented, in a place like Bengaluru, the minimum fee that a student has to charged will be Rs 83,000 a year. This is as per an estimate done three years ago."

Kumar said that an average school in Bengaluru now pays between Rs 10,000 and 20,000 for a primary school teacher and between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 for a high school teacher. "The payment is an agreement between the two parties. The government has no right to interfere in this," he said.

Fee structure display

The department has also asked schools to put up flex boards (of the measure 6*10) with details of their fee structure. The schools will have to take a photograph of the same in an A4 format and submit it to the Cluster Resource Centre.

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