Private school teachers in Andhra call for financial aid from state government

According to the Andhra Pradesh Private Teachers Association, more than 1 lakh teachers have not received their salary over the past few months as the schools they were working at have either shut, or the owners have been unable to pay their wages.

Thousands of private school teachers across Andhra Pradesh who have not received their salary after education institutions closed due to the pandemic are seeking financial assistance from the state government.

According to the Andhra Pradesh Private Teachers Association, more than 1 lakh teachers have not received their salary over the past few months as the schools they were working at have either shut, or the owners have been unable to pay their wages.

“Many teachers and their families are barely surviving. We are collecting donations and giving 25 kg rice, groceries, essential items etc to the families… Most school managements and owners are unable to pay as they could not collect fees as the schools were closed. Parents have also not been able to pay fees. Hundreds of small private schools did not reopen and their teachers are now jobless,” Vijay Kumar, the president of the association, said.

The association has pointed to the suicide of a Kurnool couple— both teachers who owned a private school — who were forced to take the extreme step due to financial hardships, and has urged the Andhra government to provide financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per month to each teacher until they find jobs.

The opposition too has urged Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy to provide immediate financial support to the teachers, saying that other states, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana too have introduced similar packages. In a letter to the CM, TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh said, “Dozens of private teachers committed suicide in Telugu states. The suicide of teacher couple at Kurnool was alarming and an eye-opener to the deteriorating situation.”

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