Indian schools teachers demand better salary
DOHA MANAGEMENTS of Indian schools in Qatar do not do enough for the well-being of the teaching staff. They are an under-paid and over-worked group of professionals, feel teachers and community members.
Most teachers in Indian schools are paid QR2,000-QR2,500 or even less salary. Many of them told Qatar Tribune that it is far too low and affects their selfesteem and professional dignity.
But as they demand better remuneration, principals blame the fee structure for low salaries.
A survey by Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute included those who draw less than QR2,000 in the blue-collar worker category. “This is a real eye opener for Indian school managements in Qatar,” said an Indian teacher not wishing to be named.
“Sadly, many of my colleagues have been working for decades and their salaries have remained more-or-less the same over the years. Fifteen years ago, a colleague was drawing a salary of QR1,700. Today, he is drawing QR2,000,” the teacher said.
On the other hand, teachers pointed out that even with the existing revenue, teaching staff could be paid much better – if school managements so desired.
“Being a part of the school, we know the number of students and what fee is charged per term. If the institution cuts down its profit-margin, it can pay us a much better salary,” said a teacher on condition of anonymity.
A teacher from Ideal Indian School said, “I am ashamed to tell you that my salary is around QR2000 after working for around 15 years. I cannot look for a better job here and I cannot return home to seek employment as I am now in my late 40s.
Nobody is going to hire me at this age. I have no option but to continue.” Another teacher from MES Indian School said, “It is for better earnings that teachers come to the Gulf region. Now, in India, teachers are getting a very good salary and they are no longer willing to come to the Gulf countries as the salary is low here. A decent salary will keep us involved and interested in the profession, while attracting better talent from India.” MES Indian School Principal AP Sasidharan said that the school has done all and continues to try to pay a good salary to the staff. He assured Qatar Tribune that another salary hike was on its way. He said “We are well ahead of other Indian schools as far as staff salaries go. But we have our own limitations too, as we charge one of the least tuition fees in Qatar. We charge around QR3,500 on an average from a child annually, which can even be lesser than the monthly fees of some schools.” He reiterated that the school management is already in talks to hike the salary of teachers.
Ideal Indian School Principal Ejaz Ahmed cited similar reasons for the low wages of the teaching staff and added that the new school building has put additional constraints on the management. He said “We have to pay the bank loan for the school building and there is no additional revenue for the school except the fees paid by the students.” Birla Public School Principal AK Shrivastava echoed Ahmed’s words and said that school is doing every bit to give the best possible salary to the staff. He said “We are solely dependent on the fees collected from students. Only by hiking the fee will we be able to provide better salaries to teachers. Then the parents will be upset as they have to shell out more money.” The parent community also felt that teachers deserved better salaries and perks. They also refuted the claim of the schools that the schools’ income was not good enough to pay higher salaries. A parent whose children study at Birla Public School said, “The number of students in all Indian schools is very high. Three Indian schools put together have more than 20,000 students. They can surely pay their teachers far better than the present salary.” Another parent suggested that the Indian community should take up this issue seriously.
“The Indian Embassy and the community leaders should discuss the issue with school managements and find out ways to provide better facilities for the teaching staff,” she said.