Despite the severe effects of COVID-19 pandemic, limited funds and less collection of fees from parents, both the schools have been paying 100% salary to all the teaching and even non-teaching staff since the first lockdown
Teachers of both the schools are being facilitated with desktop systems for pursuing online education
In the challenging time of COVID-19 pandemic when the schools are facing a hard time to pay their teachers, Ahmedabad based based Udgam School For Children and Zebar School For Children came up with a unique initiative for all the staff. Considered among the best CBSE schools in the city, the management of both the schools have secured all their teaching and non-teaching staff under complete health insurance that also includes COVID-19 treatment. The insurance cover is among the few initiatives taken by the school management to showcase the gratitude and care towards the staff.
Speaking on this, Mr. Manan Choksi, a noted Educationalist and Executive Director, Udgam School For Children and Zebar School For Children said, “Privately-held schools in Gujarat are surrounded by multiple challenges now. Recently the schools were pushed back with the state governments recent GR on not to levy tuition fees till the classes do not resume normally. Despite the severe effects of COVID-19 pandemic, limited funds, and less collection of fees from parents, we showcased our sincere responsibility towards our staff who are relentlessly working so that no student is deprived of education. Everyone is apprehensive about the consequences if they get infected with COVID-19. To give them a sigh of relief, we have covered our 700 teaching and non-teaching staff of both the schools with Rs. 3 lakh health insurance and Rs. 10 lakh life insurance on an individual basis.”
The COVID-19 pandemic came with a huge economic shock to all the sectors and education is also not spared from it. Some schools also took advantage of the situation and went on a cost-cutting spree like salary cut, delay in disbursement of salary, laying off, freezing new recruitment etc. Even the Gujarat government took a note of it and mentioned in their GR that many schools had paid only 40%-50% salary to the teachers during the lockdown. However, Udgam and Zebar have been paying 100% salary to all the teaching and even non-teaching staff since the first nationwide lockdown.
“The way the state government issued a GR on not to collect fees from parents until regular classes not start was a big shock to all the schools. Though recently Honble Gujarat High Court ruled out the governments decision and allowed the schools to collect the fees, many parents still find it difficult to pay the full fees. We had anticipated such situation months before and had already provided a relaxation to the parents to pay the fees in monthly instalments. We are awaiting further clarity from the state government on when the schools can start collecting the fees, but in case if the schools are not able to pay salaries in future, at least health expenses of all the teaching and non-teaching staff can be taken care of through this initiative,” added Mr. Choksi.
Udgam School For Children and Zebar School For Children are known for their best in class education and various innovative initiatives for the overall development of students. Believing in offering a holistic experience to students that goes beyond textbooks and make students future-ready, the school management had foreseen the effects of COVID-19 hence it started online education from April-2020. All the teaching staff was asked to work from home. Those teachers who didnt have a desktop computer or laptop at their home were provided the computer systems. The school management tied up with Microsoft to provide MS Teams platform to train the teachers about online education.