Teachers Quit School System to Work for Coaching Centers

In my previous post, I mentioned that many teachers in India rarely showed up in school but instead, got paid to tutor students privately. Now that coaching centers have become big business, the situation is even worse. The following article from the Mumbai edition of the Times of India, does a good job of explaining why.

Abysmal Payscales Are Forcing Educators To Leave The Mainstream School System And Work For Coaching Classes
Anahita Mukherji | TNN

Mumbai: Ritika Deshpande (name changed) quit her job last year as the principal of a reputed suburban school as she was fed up with taking home a measly salary of Rs 8,000 a month. “The school management would credit Rs 15,000 to my bank account every month, and then force me to return around half the sum in cash,” she said.

Though illegal, this practice is followed by many private schools and
colleges across the city, so that, on paper at least, they can prove they’re paying teachers according to government payscales. Deshpande, who now works in a coaching class, gets a salary thrice the amount she took home as a principal.

Disillusioned with abysmal payscales, teachers are quitting the
mainstream education system in droves and making a beeline for private tutorials, where payscales can range from Rs 12,000 to Rs 1 lakh a month, unlike the Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 most schoolteachers earn in the city.

A teacher who works at a private college on the outskirts of the city
takes home a salary of Rs 5,000 a month, though her pay cheque mentions Rs 22,000. She supplements her income by teaching at a well-known coaching class. Priti Pandit, who taught in a Kandivli school, now works in a coaching class. Her income, she added, has nearly tripled after leaving the school job.

Coaching class directors are quick to say that it’s not just the money. There is more job satisfaction in the coaching industry, they feel. “In our tutorials, teachers don’t have to correct answer papers or draw up marksheets. Their job is only to teach in the classroom. We hire a separate staff for administrative work and to correct answer papers,” said Narayanan Iyer, executive director of Mahesh Tutorials.

Of the 50,000-odd teachers employed with coaching classes in the city, around 50% have been recruited from schools and colleges, according to Narendra Bhambwani, secretary of the Maharashtra Class Owners’ Association. “The rest of them are freshers who join the coaching industry directly,” said Bhambwani.

Those who opt to teach in the mainstream education system, say they do so out of love for the job and not money, as their monthly income barely covers the rent. Schoolteachers who do not come from wealthy families take tuitions on the side to make ends meet. Ironically, teenage call-centre employees often earn the same as teachers, though the latter may have been in the profession for several years.

Presently, at all schools, except civic primary schools, newly appointed teachers are hired at approximately Rs 3,000 a month on a three-year contract, after which they are made permanent.

Pre-primary teachers also get a raw deal as pre-school education is
unregulated and there are no laws that govern their salaries. One
kindergarten teacher at a private school in Borivali earns Rs 4,000, 25 years after she joined the profession. She handles upto 60 children in a single classroom.

The BMC payscales for all primary teachers in the city range from Rs
10,000 to Rs 16,000, while the state government scales for secondary and higher secondary teachers range from Rs 9,000 to Rs 25,000. While civic and government payscales are applicable to private schools, these institutions are free to pay more than what has been prescribed by the government, but not less.

However, a number of well-known private schools that charge students a hefty fee do not pay their teachers any better than municipal schools. A secondary teacher at a popular south Mumbai ICSE school was receiving a monthly salary of Rs 16,000 even after 15 years of service. Teachers at an IGCSE school in Vashi said they are upset that their salaries range from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 a month.

When Arvind Vaidya retired as the principal of Nandadeep High School, Goregaon, in 1988, he was drawing a salary of Rs 800 a month. “I don’t think that teacher salaries have improved significantly over the years. Though teachers are earning more than what they did 20 years ago, this is only a ompensation for inflation,” said Vaidya, who now heads the Private Primary Teaching and Non-teaching Staff Association.

Undergraduate and post-graduate teachers fare better than their counterparts in schools and junior colleges, with senior teachers earning upto Rs 40,000. However, Tapati Mukhopadhyay, general secretary, Bombay University and College Teachers Union, pointed out that while a B-school graduate gets a minimum starting salary of Rs 50,000 a month, a senior management teacher gets a lot less.



BMC payscales are applicable to all primary teachers (classes I to IV) in private, government-aided and municipal schools, including ICSE and IB schools (not CBSE)

BMC, aided school gross salaries: From Rs 10,000 (freshers) to Rs 15,000-16,000 (senior teachers)

Other schools: The BMC payscale is the minimum pay that can be given


State government teacher payscales are applicable to all secondary (V to X) and HSC teachers (XI and XII) in private, government-aided and municipal schools, including ICSE and IB schools

Secondary school gross salaries: Minimum pay is Rs 9,000 (freshers) to Rs 25,000 (senior teachers) Junior college gross salaries: Minimum pay is Rs 9,000 (freshers) to Rs 25,000-26,000 (senior teachers)


University Grants Commission payscales are applicable to all undergraduate and postgraduate faculty in government and private colleges

Gross salary range: From Rs 18,000 (freshers) to Rs 40,000 (senior teachers)


All salaries are the minimum that must be paid by private schools, colleges and universities

A number of private institutions are known to violate the guidelines by making teachers sign for more than they actually get

At all schools, newly appointed teachers get around Rs 3,000 a month for three years before being made permanent

There are no fixed salaries for pre-primary teachers. In a number of schools, senior kindergarten teachers get as little as Rs 4,000 a month

Publication:Times of India Mumbai; Date:Sep 8, 2007; Section:Times City; Page Number:2


8 Responses to “Teachers Quit School System to Work for Coaching Centers”

  1. 1 Risto Harma July 6, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    This series of articles you have done are extremely necessary as they show the important detail of conditions on the ground in India, and this is of course relevant to other developing countries.

    What was particularly revealing was what you said about the abandoned Mumbai (Bombay) city government schools, when India is currently, and for the last seven years, having the government initiated primary school expansion programme Sarva Siksha Abhiyan or education for all expressly targeted at the poorest parts of the community.

    It’s important particular for western audiences to hear because there is a hige level of ignorance among the western public, including diaspora/NRI Indians and south Asians about what actually goes on on the the ground. Worse still, western development organisations tend to shield the public from the difficult realities on development work in places like India. Even so called western development specialists and researchers often do not understand the dynamics on the ground, and as a result, produce misleading, distorted and ultimately ineffective research and programmes. As much was recently said by the well known child researcher and programme specialist Juddith Ennew at a oonference I recently attended at which I presented similarly critical research about errors in development practice and research.

    So please keep these articles coming, the first step to actually starting effective change for the better is establishing accurate understanding of the key issues, which you are helping to do.

    — Risto Harma, researcher and programme specialist, formerly of Free Schools India, Uttar Pradesh

  2. 2 yoomilee July 7, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Dear Risto,

    Thank you very much for your comments. All these government programs, from Sarva Siksha Abhiyan to NREGA (which has gotten a lot of press lately) seem designed to put more money in the hands of the corrupt babus and their contractors. I have not written much lately on the issue of corruption in India since it is quite depressing… everyday there is some other atrocity. But, you have given me a much needed push, so will hopefully get back to writing.

  3. 3 sonika chopra November 6, 2008 at 8:31 am

    i m sonika chopra from delhi persuing in b.a pass@i m
    commercial artist from south delhi pollytechnic(2 years diploma)& knoladge of dtp,ms.office,internet,multi media from oxford & experience of paintings.
    my add-3/73subhash nagar,back side,
    new delhi,27 & ph.no.9911770905,
    thak u
    sonika chopra

  4. 4 madhuri verma August 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    I have completed my M.A. and B.Ed from Mumbai Univercity I am fresher and looking for job in teaching field. if any vacancy pls call me.

  5. 5 madhuri verma August 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    I have completed my M.A. and B.Ed from Mumbai Univercity I am fresher and looking for job in teaching field. if any vacancy pls call me. Hindi teacher job

  6. 6 madhuri verma August 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I am M.A B.Ed and looking a teachers job.

  7. 7 Kunjal j Patel February 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    i had completed ecc ed course n have experience of 1 yr

  8. 8 Niyati modi March 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I an working as a primary teacher since last 5 years and wanna join coaching classes….. i have done B.sc in Botany and doing my D.ed 2nd year…..please let me know if any vacancy…

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