18 April, 2021

Picking A Teacher’s Purse

Underpaid, overworked—teachers are in a bad way. And schools are reluctant to comply with strict CBSE rules.

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A parents’ body protests a fee hike by DPSG School in Gurgaon
Photograph by Getty Images
Picking A Teacher’s Purse

Do you wonder about the gap between the degree of proficiency schoolkids are supposed to have in various subjects and what they actually know? To crack this mystery, look at another gap—the mismatch between what teachers are supposed to be paid and what they actually get. And think of the logical corollaries—the quality that can be attracted to this profession for such pay, the levels of demotivation among those who join and, most significantly, the effect it has on their teaching.

Anita Kumari, a teacher of a small private school in Gurgaon, has been signing a monthly salary receipt of Rs 36,545 for the past four years, but actually drawing Rs 16,000. On paper, the school conforms to the scales prescribed by the Haryana School Education Act; in practice, it pays less than half.

Located less than two km away from Ryan Internatio­nal, where seven-year-old Pradyuman Thakur was brutally killed on September 8, the private unaided school caters to the aspirational population from the nearby urban villages. There are 18 other teachers in the school, but...

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