For those without regular pay-checks
IFP Editorial: One may sulk at the attitude of some school owners who run schools like a business, but one cannot blame the teachers manning these private schools.
LIFE has not been easy for everyone during the pandemic, especially for the poor and unemployed who had no steady monthly income and also for those employed in the private sector and unorganised sector. Let us be honest, those who are employed in the public sector and government institutions are getting their monthly pay-checks regularly in the midst of the pandemic, though most of the offices are shut except for the officers and for some key personnel in the lower ranks. And to even think that these pay-check fellows are the ones deciding the policies of those in the private sector and unorganised sector, including the daily wagers during the pandemic and their righteous talk of what is possible and not, is indeed a torment for the poor and needy. Let us not forget that, there are hundreds of families trying to eke out a living from the ‘generous’ government dole outs. Feed on the free rice and other items is their daily routine with no work to keep themselves busy or gain extra income as roads and work-places are empty due to the lockdown and restrictions.
And most of all, the students and our youth are suffering as they hang out at home with their mobile phones and internet games, eating and sleeping day in day out. Most parents are having a nightmare trying to instil imagination and initiative in these dark days. Surely, these days of inactivity and physical interactions are going to have a lasting impact on their future career and pursuits. In the new and evolving Covid-19 world, one will have to change the way one think and act. What worked in the past won’t necessarily help us in the future. There’s been a radical seismic shift. Those who quickly adapt to the changes will survive and thrive. People who naively act as if everything’s the same will be lost.
We are entering a time period in which one must be strong, determined, flexible and self-reliant. Now that most of us have been under lockdown for months, how have we coped emotionally, economically, socially and politically?
For almost everyone, we have been stressed out of our minds. It is difficult to think rationally or objectively when we confront our own mortality. But tough choices have to be made in the months ahead as we contemplate our future. Now the question is, have our regular pay-check fellows had for once thought about the social nightmare that lay ahead.
For the present, we would like to flag the issue of school fees of the private schools which is directly linked with the salary of the teachers. One has to agree that the contribution of private schools is enormous in this state of ours where most of the government schools are dysfunctional. It has been these teachers with minimum salary who are the torch-bearers of school education and long they have been mentoring the future pillars of the state to newer and greater heights.
One may sulk at the attitude of some school owners who run schools like a business, but one cannot blame the teachers manning these private schools. As we understand, the private school teachers are running online classes during the pandemic and we would err if we think that they are doing it only for the sake of their monthly salary.
Ever since the lockdown and uncertainty surrounding it, the non-stop debate over school fees by various students organisations and parent-guardian organisations have hurt them emotionally not to talk of the diminishing financial savings, day after day.
The state government’s order instructing private schools to collect fifty per cent of the monthly fees had also been objected to by some organisations. This is quite demeaning. At such a juncture, government college teachers are saying that it would boycott online classes of government colleges in Manipur starting July if the state government failed to issue an order on the UGC 7th Pay Commission recommendations before June end. Do the parent guardian organisations have any opinion on it?