Bengaluru: The Karnataka Registered Unaided Private Schools Management Association (RUPSA) has requested Union Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman to consider restructuring of loans availed by private unaided schools in the state during Covid pandemic.
“For 2 years, private schools have been struggling to balance their financial commitments. Public statements given by politicians and Education Department officials to gain brownie points have further jeopardised our situation,” RUPSA President Lokesh Talikatte said in the letter sent to the Union Finance Ministry.
“The aftermath of this is that private schools are not able to receive fees dues from the parents. Thus we are not able to repay our loan installments and service interest on loans. Our dues are piling up and we are in debt trap,” he added.
Adding insult to injury, expenses like increased electric bills, building tax, and fire safety expenses have further aggravated the situation, he said.
“In the past two and half years, around two and a half thousand schools have either closed or are at the verge of closing. If the situation continues, many more private schools will close and thousands of employees depending on these schools will be jobless,” Talikatte warned.
“Therefore, in this critical situation, we need your (Sitharaman) intervention. Please order for restructuring of loans availed by private schools from nationalised banks, scheduled banks, NBFCs, co-operative banks etc. We need a moratorium of one year at least. Your favorable decision in this regard will be immensely helpful in uplifting the education system. We request you to consider our request at the earliest,” he said.
Talikatte said that the pandemic has shattered the economic situation of many sectors in the world, and the worst affected is the education sector because the children have not only lost their two and half years learning but also have gone under depression. This is very difficult to deal with and compensate for, he noted.
He contended that private unaided schools are shouldering the responsibilities of the state government in improving the education system. “Madam, our contribution is, though not more but definitely equivalent to government efforts,” he said.