The teachers in private schools in Telangana were in dire straits and some have been forced to take up farm work during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown as they have not received salaries from mid March,a body of them said on Tuesday.
There were around 11,700 government-recognised private schools in the state employing around 1.50 lakh teachers and they had not got their salaries since March 15, Telangana Private Teachers Forum president Sheik Shabbir Ali claimed.
Left with no option, some private teachers were now forced to take up agricultural works in villages. In one instance, a teacher in Yadadri-Bhongir district had taken up drought-related works of removing unwanted plants in a village, he said.
The association has represented to the government and also officials in districts about the problem despite circulars that teachers should be paid salaries as per government orders issued while announcing lockdown, he said.
However, the managements were not paying salaries, he said. As most of the teachers shifted to urban areas from villages, they do not have ration cards which made them ineligible to receive government assistance, including rice and financial aid, announced for the poor during the lockdown, Ali said.
The forum has sent a representation to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on May 16, requesting steps for payment of salaries, job security and addressing other problems of private schools teachers, he said.
When contacted, Telangana Recognised School Managements Association presidentK Papi Reddy said payment of salaries got delayed as school fees from parents could not be received properly during the lockdown.
The salaries would be paid after schools reopen, he said. Reddy said salaries were paid till March. Meanwhile, a senior official of the education department told PTI that the government would do its best to ensure that no teacher goes unpaid.
The teachers were employed directly by the school managements, the official added.