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BBMP's language project irks ill-paid teachers

Under fire for failing to revise salary of 200 teachers in civic-run schools, BBMP takes refuge in project to improve standards of English

Drawing flak from all quarters for showing little interest in revising the salaries of around 200 teachers employed at its schools, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) seems to be seeking refuge in its new project that envisages to bring the standards of English education in civic-run schools at par with private ones.

The education department of the BMMP has decided to invest Rs 2.5 lakh on a pilot project that will cover all 33 civic-run schools.


A primary teacher gets Rs 3,198 per month, while a high school
or college teacher draws Rs 5,427 in civic-run institutes


Initially, the project will be implemented in ten schools. The corporation plans to rope in trainers to provide orientation to these teachers.

Once trained these teachers will help students improve their English language skills. "We have to make our schools on par with private schools. We have invested in the pilot project.
 
Initially, 10 schools will be covered under the project," said Ramesh Raju, Chairman, Standing Committee Education, BBMP.

However, the BBMP officials remained non-committal on the issue of promised salary hikes.

Around 200 teachers had earlier staged a dharna outside the BBMP headquarters, threatening to commit mass suicide if the civic body did not revise their salary structure.

"All our teachers work very hard and are highly qualified and yet the BBMP pays them a paltry salary.

The BBMP has a budget outlay of Rs 9,000 crore and yet they pay us a meager salary of Rs 3,198 per month (for primary school teachers) and Rs 5,427 (for high school and college teachers).
 
Besides, we undergo a lot of harassment from higher authorities.

We would appreciate it if the body looks into the matter," said Manjunath Gowda, Member, Contract Teachers Association, BBMP.

Further the teachers are infuriated with the pilot project, claiming that the BBMP "is cheating us saying that
they have no funds to increase our salaries".

"We have approached them many times and also resorted to protests against their apathy. We also decided to commit suicide if our demands were not met, but they convinced us that the matter would be resolved soon.

"However, we have received no response from the BBMP as yet.

When they have no funds to increase our salaries, how can they shell out money on pilot projects? They should first fulfill our demands," said Renukesh Kumar, President, Contract Teachers Association, BBMP.

Senior officials, however, claimed that they would look into the matter and try to revise the salary structure too.

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