More than 25,000 teachers, non-teaching staff, and managers from Indian private schools marched against the Karnataka state government’s fee deduction order in Bengaluru city on Tuesday.

Demonstrators walked 15 km between Bengaluru Train Station and Freedom Park. Teachers and other school staff are blaming their unpaid salaries on the government order, which has reduced tuition fees by 30 percent compared to last year.

“The objective of the protest is the financial distress of private education institutions, unscientific fee reduction, the imposition of a new school clause for the old schools under the COVID-19 pandemic in the name of the accreditation renewal,” read a statement from Karnataka Private School Managements, Teaching, and Non-Teaching Staff Coordination Committee (KPMTCC). 

KPMTCC consists of eleven private schools in the state’s capital city.  

In January, several parents’ associations held protests in Karnataka as many schools threatened to halt online classes for students who failed to pay tuition fees.

Following this, the state’s education minister – S. Suresh Kumar – said that all the private schools would only be allowed to charge 70 percent of the tuition fees collected last year (2019-2020) for the current academic year.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Private Schools’ Parents’ Associations’ Coordination Committee warned that if the government announced the rollback, it would again hit the streets.