Principal sells idli as private school staff receive no salary during lockdown

Principal Maragani Rambabu selling idli, dosa and vada with his wife as the school no longer pays him
Principal Maragani Rambabu selling idli, dosa and vada with his wife

The principal of Millennium English Medium School is now selling idli, dosa and vada to earn a living. Likewise, teachers across many private schools are no longer receiving salaries because they lost their jobs. In some cases, it’s temporary, such as the principal who will get his salary once the school resumes. However, the future seems uncertain and so, teachers are doing what they can to earn.

After the pandemic hit, the subsequent lockdown resulted in children no longer coming to school. Parents lost their jobs and were unable to pay for their kids’ education. In many cases, students cannot even afford smartphones for online classes. Moreover, schools do not want to pressure parents into paying the fees as they understand that they may no longer be earning as well. Hence, many private schools cannot give salaries to the management or teaching staff. Therefore, many teachers are taking up other jobs or cutting back on their expenditure.

If the students do not return to school by July-August, things will get worse for us.

Vidyasagar, Science teacher, Usha Public School, Sheikhpura, Bihar

Maragani Rambabu, principal of Millennium English Medium School, Telangana

Rambabu, 36 years old, lives with his wife, his mother, and two children. When he was the principal, he received a salary of Rs.22,000. However, the school management believes it does not need a principal until the reopening. Therefore, he bought a cart worth Rs.2,000 and started selling idli, vada and dosa with his wife. At the end of the day, they make a profit of around Rs.200.

Badeti Ravi, teacher at Krishnaveni English Medium School, Telangana

Ravi earned Rs.16,000 as an English teacher, but the school has not paid his salary since April. Thereafter, a friend and insurance agent introduced him to a few companies. Now, Ravi sells insurance policies and earns around Rs.5,000. However, it’s insufficient to support his family of six.

Laganlaal Mahato, teacher at Saraswati Sishu Vidya Mandir, Jharkhand

Mahato earns Rs.5,000 monthly as a Social Science teacher but stopped receiving his salary in April. He has a family of six, including his wife and three children, and his father. Previously, he hired labourers for his paddy field, but now works on it himself as he can no longer pay labourers.

These three are just a few of many cases across the states. In Jharkhand, a maths teacher is relying on his son’s earnings from a mobile repair shop. Then, in Bihar, an IT staff member at a school is receiving half the salary, so he stopped eating non-vegetarian food and sent his wife and son to his parents’ place. Another teacher in Bihar who taught science stopped receiving his salary of Rs.25,000 with which he supported his family of seven, including his parents and a brother. In fact, he is unable to pay his brother’s course fee too.

This clearly shows that private schools and education staff need more support from the government to keep their schools running. For now, people expect schools to open by August.