Teachers claim that the schools have given them targets—of getting at least 10 to 15 new admissions before the beginning of the next academic year, failing which they might lose their jobs. To highlight their plight, members of the Telangana Private Teachers Forum (TPTF), recently met education secretary B Janardhan Reddy and submitted a representation urging him to intervene and address the issue.
“Many private schools are forcing teachers to work during summer vacation and using us for canvassing. Teachers are forced to get admissions failing which they are asked face consequences. We humbly request to consider this plea on humanitarian grounds and initiate action against management,” read a letter submitted to Reddy.
The president of TPTF said that they have also made representation to the commissioner of school education and district education officers on the issue.
Apart from the physical labour, teachers rue that the job has also dented their self esteem. “One of the main reasons why teachers are losing respect, both from parents and students, is this canvassing during summer. It feels like I have made a wrong choice by entering this field,” said Rajitha M, who left the software field to become teacher about 15 years ago. She said that when teachers visit colonies, it is disheartening to see people assume that they are there just for money. They said that they are losing respect both inside and outside the school and added that the brand name of the school too is taking a hit.
Members of Telangana Recognised School Management Association, meanwhile, claimed that the issue is mostly relevant for corporate or big private schools, not budget private schools. “They are the ones who are handing out targets and using teachers for canvassing. The managements of budget private schools cannot be blamed for this,” said S Madhusudhan Reddy of TRSMA.