Under this pandemic not only were we as a nation not prepared for the panic and chaos but we also did not foresee other factors getting effected by this lock-down such as how will the schooling continue? How will we be spending time at home?
Thank God for blogs and websites who keep producing content for us to keep busy and they keep coming up with great creative ideas for parents to keep the kids busy.
Most of us did not know how to manage time, work, chores, husband and kids at home 24/7 altogether however this article isn’t discussing those issues.
We are discussing the most important of all issue at the moment for parents and schools alike
— FEES —
So we have heard that the fees will be reduced to a certain percentage because online classes have started and these are being considered as the summer holidays. As parents we have heard a lot of views from others parents in the shape of friends and family but this time we wanted the opinion and thoughts of the teachers who at the moment are playing a vital role in this situation.
So we spoke to an array of teachers from the leading schools of Pakistan to give us their two cents and share their thoughts.
Here’s what we asked them and their answers anonymously:
I asked: what do you guys think of the fees reduction?
- The fee reduction makes perfect sense; the school’s daily/variable costs have gone done. Even though there is virtual teaching going on, the burden of teaching is falling on the parents, which means the school is not providing the same service as it used to. Like the rest of the service industry which is going through a rough patch, so should the education sector especially the private elite education sector.
- Why should they be reduced? The schools are doing their job even though the burden is most on the parents and the teachers but at least the schools are trying.
- I myself as a teacher and a parent in this school feel that since teachers are working for the school and putting all of their effort they shouldn’t have just reduction but they should have the opportunity of having the first child studying for free.
- 20% of fees reduction is valid in my view as the schools infrastructure cost has gone down. However like few other professions (doctors, police) the teachers’ role have been shifted to 24/7 due to the virtual learning concept.
- As teachers we weren’t even given a heads-up about how to plan these online classrooms and we didn’t have any extra training for this as well. We are doing all the work and the schools are taking money. The fees should be reduced.
- If these are summer holidays the teachers should be given a break too. We are humans also and the schools should decrease the fees as it is unfair for the parents to pay the whole fees when the schools are shut down.
- It is very difficult for me to operate from home looking after my family, house work and kids and then this extra online class. We are doing all the effort but the schools are just minting money. The parents or government should take a stand and try to reduce the fees.
I asked: How will it make a difference?
- The fee reduction will put the school admin in a stronger position to fire people using cost cuts as the excuse, teacher exploitation could happen. In terms of cost, the elite private schools are saving so much in terms of utility bills, stationary and daily supplies that they have no reason to slash salaries but it might be a possibility. It will keep the parent body loyal and satisfied with the school for being considerate in these difficult financial times.
- It will encourage new parents to come to the school. Also some parents won’t be able to afford putting 2 or 3 kids in the same school because of the high fee of course. Which isn’t fair for the child who goes to a different school (just because it has a lower fees).
- If the fees are reduced the schools will shutdown extra activities.
- If the fees get reduced the pressure will come onto the teachers especially the new and somewhat weaker ones. They could be fired.
- It should not make a different to the school or teachers it ethically shouldn’t. Also, school might stop celebrating events and having activities which make learning fun and different for kids..
- If the fees is reduced , the schools will lay of some ayyas and security personnel in order to cut their costs. Even teachers will be fired.
- The schools will stop putting in extra effort for extracurricular activities and will start asking parents for every extra expense as if they don’t already do that. The schools will manipulate the parents in such ways
I asked: Will it be a good decision?
- More than it being the question of good or bad, it is about being the fair thing to do. All businesses are facing losses so it’s only fair that the schools absorb some of the economic impact as well.
- It could be a good decision for the parents. Can’t say much of the other dynamics like teachers being fired, more strict rules in school for teachers, extra expense for parents in order to compensate for the reduction in fees and many more.
- Definitely a good decision. About time the government and parents wake up and take a stand.
- No it might affect the school employees negatively. It could de-motivate teachers and end up ruining their efficiency.
- If all is done with honesty and putting the parents first then it will a very good decision.
- Yes. It will be
I asked: Do you think teachers will be laid off?
- Don’t see that happening for teachers in TNS/BSS which have a more centralized system, however other schools with a thin leadership structure, teachers could be laid off. Part time teachers are more vulnerable.
- Yes they might be.
- A very high probability it will happen because they school will try to cut back its costs in order to incorporate the potential loss.
- Maybe not fire teachers because of number of students. But they might reduce salaries or stop increments.
- The teachers will not get increments or pending bonuses but not be laid off.
- They might fire those are already in the spotlight for being unfit teachers.
- It would be unfair to the teaching community if the reduction affects their salaries. As it is triple the work and energy, keeping in mind that the teachers are also under lock-down and have minimal help at home. Yet they have to manage everything and fulfill their job and others responsibilities under this pandemic.
Do comment below to give us your opinions and thoughts about what should happen.