As the winter arrives here in the valley Private educational institutions become a hot topic, For one reason or another, they are always on top of the list of discussions in our homes. From parents complaining about the raised tuition fees to Teachers complaining about the hard work involved and the low salaries they are paid. And often the delayed winter salaries altogether. I guess it would be extremely safe to say that private schools have maintained an image and they are living up to their standards every winter. I am sure you all will get the sarcasm in the former sentence. From personal experiences and my cousin’s continuous nagging about how this famous school in our area betrayed her and put her teaching career at stake only to save a few pennies, I felt obligated to pen down this piece of experience. So a few of my cousins, Friends, and family friends are working as teachers in private schools and all of their experiences have somewhat made me scared of working in a private school, the stories they narrate make me feel like this is the worst experience one can ask for.
First and foremost a teacher is thoroughly interviewed, Their skills are evaluated by making them teach a demo class, some of the schools even make the teachers have an online demo class which in my opinion shall be enough to decide whether the aspirant is worthy of the position or not. But despite passing through every evaluation test the teachers are still betrayed and left as if their efforts meant nothing. My cousin recently quit her job in the school where she used to work due to certain health issues and the environmental conditions of that school contributed negatively to her health. Since she has had 8 years of experience in teaching, and she has this unending appetite to share her knowledge with the maximum number of people, she decided to go to this school where she felt that the teaching circumstances, as well as the environment, might be in favour of her health. So she went and got interviewed and she passed all of her tests with flying colours as she would narrate her amazing experiences. She was so high on excitement and joy of being selected that she even settled for a lower salary than what she was already being paid in the previous school. However, As the image goes, Private educational institutions have to have these issues or else they just might not survive. Now, Here let it be stated for the record that I am not blaming all of the private institutions but most of them are invested more in growing their name and the business they generate through their schools than the actual purpose of imparting knowledge and serving the society with the best of both, Be it teachers or the students.
Primarily problems arise with the intra-school politics going on. Believe it or not but as the narration from one of my friends proceed, private schools are the new political field, with the proprietor playing favouritism, the principal playing the puppet, and the teacher in charge playing the mighty kings and queens these institutions to me is no less than a political game where all the powers keep shifting between a selected number of people and they are the ones who make the decisions for others irrespective of how it affects other people around them, especially the hard-working teachers who dedicate their time and best efforts in developing the students so as to create a better future for themselves as well as for us as a society in general. Teachers who have no part in politics, whose sole purpose is to impart knowledge without bias and give society a product that they can rely upon in future are unfortunately often sacrificed.
As my cousin narrated there have been multiple teachers in this particular school working for up to 4 years now, putting in their best efforts, dedicating their time, investing their hard work and hard-gained knowledge and wisdom and yet they have been kicked out of the school without prior notice or even without mentioning their shortcomings or warning them to improve their performance if they found them lacking. whereas these teachers were already compelled to complete the yearly work, Be it syllabuses, Reading or writing materials. My cousin was working there for only 6 months now and she had to experience the same fate as them, Along with many of these dedicated and hard-working teachers, She was also the one being sacrificed And so was her teaching career, And this all proved to be nothing but merely a well-planned strategy of the school owners to cut their salary expenses for this winter season. It came to be known that these establishments have been doing this for many years now trying to save themselves the 3 months’ salary for the winter season putting at stake the careers and lives of many of these teachers who have did nothing but work themselves off for these very schools.
As the narration goes one of the female teachers was so distressed and anxious about her sudden and enforced exit which threatened her career so much that she was having suicidal thoughts.
The irony here is, These institutions make these teachers do through hell only to be selected, Then pay them pennies and peanuts in the name of salary, Making them work as hard as their limits go, Literally crushing them with the weight of responsibilities placed upon them and all that for what? Only to be dismissed with no explanation or prior notice. These very institutions charge the parents a hefty amount for the studies of their wards claiming that they have to pay the teachers on board. However, The teachers are rarely paid, Their salaries have been blocked for months altogether, And the schools provide an excuse that the parents are not paying their dues.
On one hand, we often see parents protesting against increased fee structures, On another hand, we see teachers in despair due to their salaries not being reimbursed to them and meanwhile, the schools are seen complaining as well. I wonder where the money goes then?
My point here is, Why don’t the Education Ministry and authorities pay attention to the devastating state of these private school teachers?
When they are very quick to jump and solve other educational issues, Where do they go when these teachers are being treated indifferently?
Why is no one tending to the fact that these teachers are being delivered peanuts for their hard work and dedication?
Where the youth of the valley are already suffering through unemployment and a lack of job placements is this system worthy of being another stressor in their life rather than being a refuge or a solution?