Private school teachers in Karnataka struggle to receive benefits under the Teacher Benefit Fund.
Bengaluru: Private school teachers in Karnataka are still not a part of the Teacher Benefit Fund even after the approval of the proposal in March 2021. The inclusion of private school teachers in the Karnataka State Teachers Welfare Fund was given approval in recognition of the problems faced by them during covid. However, many teachers from unaided schools are yet to see any implementation of the same.
Dr. Sudha Lingaya, Headmistress of Vivekanand Public School said, “Private school teachers are most affected. We are not getting any much facilities. Even the covid relief fund we received is done only for half of the teachers. From association side we have already asked for that, government has also promised schemes and all but the process is very much delayed.”
The proposal was approved in late March when representatives of the Karnataka Secondary School Employees’ Association, Recognised Unaided Private Schools’ Association and other associations in Bengaluru put pressure on the government asking for assistance during the pandemic when several teachers lost their jobs.
Divya K., Assistant Mistress of Vivekanand Public School said, “We were given 50% salary and teachers were removed. Teachers are facing lot of problems. My whole family suffered from covid, we received nothing. We expect more help from government to private teachers.”
Mr. Shreekanta Gowda, the Deputy Director of the Karnataka State Teacher Benefit Fund, said that the meeting to discuss inclusion of private school teachers in the scheme will be held two weeks from now and no modalities have been finalized yet.
The benefits under the Karnataka State Teacher Welfare Fund include medical assistance to teachers and their dependents, financial assistance for the families of deceased teachers and merit scholarships to children of teachers. The board receives funds from contributions of students from high schools and teachers respectively every year.
Sudha added, “A nominal fee of 25 rupees per teacher, we have to pay fee to the respective department. They are collecting it as a fee for welfare of teacher. That fund is supposed to be used for private teachers who are in need. They are taking for their welfare, they have to take care of teacher welfare also.”
Sudha also told that the school is not able to provide financial assistance to its staff due to low enrollment number of children this year.