The decline of the Budget school

Synopsis: The private budget school ecosystem is collapsing, which is a threat to millions of children who rely on it.

Introduction

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is visible in almost all the sectors, and the schools are no exception to it. Today, most private budget schools are facing the problem of financial crunch and are on the verge of lapse owing to shut down and transfer of students from schools.

What are the problems faced by the parents?

The pandemic has caused financial instability in many homes. With the frequent lockdowns and the slowdown of the economy, they are struggling to pay their children’s fees to private institutions. Apart from the fees, there are other expenses like books, internet and school uniforms, which most of the families are unable to afford in the pandemic period. So the parents have no choice but to transfer their students to government schools.

Read more: Long term Impacts of School Closure – Explained, pointwise
What are the problems faced by the private budget schools?

Fall in the strength of students: There has been seen a decrease in enrollment of students during and after the pandemic. This led to problems of paying the staff, school building rent and other expenses. Some student entrepreneur claims that approx tens of thousands of private schools are either shut down or on the verge of closure.

Death Incidents: There are also many instances of private school promoters and teachers are committing suicide. With the people lost their jobs and reduction in salary led to less admission of students in schools. Budget schools already running on the minimum fee. So, they found it difficult to pay salaries to staff. According to the National Independent School Alliance, private schools are facing an annual loss of 77,000 crores in the aftermath of the corona pandemic.

Mismatch: With a cut in teachers’ pay rates and fewer teachers in schools, their workloads have been increased. Also, there is a mismatch in the teacher-student ratio. Even the low-budget schools are struggling to provide digital solutions to students owing to the lack of resources. The only digital medium they are using is Whatsapp.

Read more: Blended model of learning – Explained in detail

What should the government do?

Government should treat private budget schools as MSME. They should be given concession or relaxations should be provided on loan repayment. Also, it should focus on covering the learning loss of students.

Source: This post is based on the article “the decline of the Budget schoolpublished in Livemint on 20th October 2021.

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