Mumbai: Schools run on the basis of financial aid provided by the government are facing a financial crisis as the allocation of funds has been reduced. The grants given to these schools are reduced by half which has led to lack of teachers in reputed private aided schools of the city. These funds are allocated by central government and then distributed in states by respective state government.
The allocation has been slashed by mere half of the original eight per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually. These funds are used to pay salaries of teachers in these private aided schools. Also, the funds stated as non-salary grant are used to maintain the infrastructure of schools, pay electricity bills, stationery and maintenance. But since the last 10 years the government has stopped providing these grants.
As these grants are not issued the schools are finding it impossible to function and pay salaries of teachers. Fr Frazer Mascarenhas, Manager of St Stanislaus School, Bandra, said, “The overall allocation of funds for public education has been drastically curtailed by successive governments both at the central and state level. This has led to repercussions on the government aided schools which is deteriorating the quality of education.”
This financial crunch has discouraged teachers to take up jobs in state run private aided schools. A teacher said, “Why should we work in a school which does not pay us our salary? We have a family to manage and depend on the grants provided by the government. Schools will soon be privatised as teachers are shifting towards private schools which pay high-end salaries.”
In private-aided schools, the management is private but the school runs on funds provided by government. The management does the recruitment but the government manages the aided post. The schools mentioned they have to take a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from government to fill the post. A principal said, “We have to take permission to fill the post and then wait for the government grant. We do not have direct power over any kind of recruitment as the posts are managed by the government.”
Schools like St Andrew’s School, St Joseph, Anjuman Islam and St Stanislaus are facing a financial crisis and have to depend on other sources like alumni, donors, well wishers and organisations for basic funding.