By Javed Wani
On Saturday, the administration suspended the recognition of two famous private schools of Srinagar for an exorbitant fee hike and non-compliance of orders. The order from DSEK was normal administrative action and probably the first of its kind to take a very bold and strong step against any elite school of the valley that should have been appreciated by the people. But, instead, the tirade went against the administration after one among the suspended schools alleged that it was targeted for preaching Islamic studies in the school. It is a known fact that the school is following the JKBOSE curriculum. So, the allegation was only to stoke a vicious diatribe against the administration to escape from the original wrong that the school has committed and which is the characteristic feature of almost every private school of the valley.
Private schools are flouting the rules since long and they have been left free by the administration to go to any extent. These schools are like an arrogant fatherless child who can do whatever appeases to him without any accountability. The most egregious victim of the private school’s arrogance is none but its own teacher who works from dawn to dusk but meagerly paid. On an average he or she works for 6 hours a day without a single break; his or her day begins in a school bus taking the care of the children and ends only when he or she leaves the bus in the evening.
In between, the teacher plays the role of a maid, of a chowkidar, waiter, and conductor and so on. And, in the meanwhile if this robot type human was found a bit negligible, he or she has to proffer a lengthy explanation with the undertaking that never in the future it will be repeated.
The private school teacher has to take extra care that he or she will not indulge in the friendship with opposite sex as the decorum of the school has to be maintained and since he is a teacher he or she must be a role model a brahmachayra. The archetypal example of which was the teacher couple who got married and were sacked from their services in this winter. There are many such untold stories which go unnoticed only because the reputation of the people was involved.
The private schools charge skyrocketing tuition fee, bus fee, annual charges, printing and building fee, apart from one time admission fee 30000-100000 per student; they earn in crores annually but they pay peanuts to their teachers. (A private school teacher’s salary, on average, is 5000-10000 a month). Where does all this money go? Why has administration left it to the private school to decide the conditions of service of its staff related to pay, gratitude and the age of retirement, which they often flout? Why has a private school teacher been forgotten? Why there is no respect for him? Is he not the member of the society? Time has come when the authorities should adopt this pauper creation of God and have some pity on him!
The author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org