Hyderabad: Educators and owners of private and budget schools are committing suicides across the country said the National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) here on Tuesday. NISA members also met Telangana education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy earlier this week and expressed their anguish on this issue.
According to NISA, if schools remain shut, the rate of suicides by owners, correspondents, and educators will rise exponentially. Members from NISA spoke about suicides by private and budget school owners and correspondents committing suicide in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and across the country in general.
Addressing a press conference today, Madhusudhan Rao, vice-president of NISA said “A married couple who were correspondents in Koilakuntla in Kurnool district killed themselves as they were unable to repay their debts and a similar situation happened in Jagityal where a correspondent by the name Pradeep took his life owing to the lockdown,”
They added that the state government has budgeted education at Rs. 17 crores, and if small private schools weren’t around, the budget would increase for education by Rs. 34 crores. Hence, said NISA, their existence not only aids education but also relieves the government of some burden.
Madhusudhan Rao and NISA demanded that the government, aside from reopening schools, should issue a moratorium of two years so that the schools can function properly. IV Ramana Rao, treasurer of NISA, also added that the state should government should lend their support to budget schools by waiving their property and electricity taxes, take care of school buses, and also offer aid to the schools for a period of two years.
While members NISA appreciated the state government’s efforts of offering Rs. 2000 as a strippend to teachers (per month) and a rice bag to the educators of various schools, they bemoaned the fact that that aid stopped coming from the last 3 months. NISA’s meeting concluded with the possibility of organizing a protest in Delhi at Jantar Mantar or the Ram Leela Maidan if the state and central government remain unresponsive to their demands.