Hyderabad: The repeated shutdown of schools in the state, which disrupted education for long terms in the Covid season, appears to have come as a blessing in disguise to teachers at government schools.
The shutdowns between January 2021 and September 2021 alone, on an average, helped teachers at most government school save around Rs 5,000, which they spend out of their pockets every term to buy the required stationery for their schools. Government funds do not help meet all the expenses at these schools.
Some 26,800 government schools in the state are staffed by 1.15 lakh teachers and school heads, who together do purchases of school essentials.
Across the state, the closures helped them save altogether Rs 26.53 crore under the head of ‘out of pocket’ expenses to keep classes going for the government school teachers last year.
A small primary government school that lacks fans and tube lights spends Rs 300 per month on electricity use and this would be a few hundreds more for schools of higher grades, said Malikarjun, a government school teacher.
However, these schools are suffering from a budget mismatch as the government does not provide them enough money to buy the essentials.
"An amount of Rs 50,000 is allocated to schools having over 100 students. Any other expense for stationery and the like has to be borne by the teachers. The money from the government is not enough," said Malikarjun.
He said Rs 15,000 is allocated for schools with less than 50 students, Rs 25,000 for schools with more than 50 students and around Rs 50,000 for those above 100 students.
Stationery shop owners faced huge losses during January - September 2021. "I had to suffer a loss of Rs 4 lakh during this period as my stationery sales dropped drastically. Around 200 chalk boxes were being sold every month, but this dropped to 0," said a shop owner.