Small private schools face permanent closure, teachers in limbo

budget schools, private school
The COVID crisis deepened the problem for many budget private schools, forcing many to shut down | Image - Immayabharathi K

Ashok Gowda, an architect-turned-entrepreneur, wanted to set up 10 schools in 10 years in Bengaluru. But with stiff competition and with reasonable profit, he managed to open and run three—a play school, a primary school with a state board syllabus and another with central board syllabus—in the suburbs of the city between 2013 and 2020.

Gowda’s schools catered to students whose parents came from diverse professions—farmers, IT professionals, daily-wage labourers among others.

All was going fine till the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Schools had to be shut, classes went online, with many students not having proper technology or devices, making it difficult to impart lessons. But the worst came when parents refused to pay school fees.

He was forced to shut one of the schools started in 2017 with 100 students, run under the brand name Bodhi and managed by his educational trust (KME Trust) in the suburbs of Bangalore.

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