PUNE: Government school teachers in Maharashtra are facing a new challenge these days managing all their academic and infrastructure expenses for the school in just 5,000.
The annual grant is given by the state government to every zilla parishad local self-government schools. The funds are given to the schools in order to keep a record of expenses, generate receipts, conducting audit, minor repair works in classrooms among others.
Teachers had demanded 25,000 to run schools, but just 5,000 has been sanctioned. Teachers' associations said till the previous year the schools would get 10,000 and they had demanded a hike, but instead of increasing the funds the government reduced it by 50%.
Teachers' associations said the government was putting forward a big challenge before schools by disbursing such a small amount. Schools with less than 30 enrolments are eligible for this amount. Such schools do not have headmasters so the operations is looked after by the teachers.
There are a total of 64,802 government primary schools in the state of which 24, 581 schools have less than 30 enrolments.
The funds are allocated by the state education department under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
The Shikshak Samiti, an association of primary teachers, stated in a letter to the chief secretary of state education department, Vandana Krishna that the funds were very little to run the functioning of the schools and had in fact demanded for Rs 25,000 annually to have sufficient amount in hand.
Member of the Shikshak Samiti, Nilesh Devre, said, "Till the last year, schools were receiving Rs 10,000 and this time it has been reduced to 50% when there was a demand for increase in the funds. There are many times when teachers shell out from their own pockets to run the school efficiently. They have to pay for the internet facility, use cyber cafes in villages where the network is poor. Teachers have to provide online information on a couple of portals on a daily basis and network issues are prominent in remote areas."