S Mallesham used to run a school for over two decades now. However, his life turned upside down due to the pandemic. His school, with 220 students, hit hard times, and Mallesham had to lease the school and has started running a grocery store.
He started to face problems due to his Surya English Medium School as he was forced to borrow money to keep the school running. And due to this, his debt ran into several lakhs. With the pandemic continuing for a second consecutive year, Mallesham had no option but to turn a grocer. No one was willing to loan money, and many students were also not paying fees.
But Mallesham is no one of his kind cases. There are many other budget school managements that were forced to shut shop due to COVID. In all cases, the primary reason for shutting the schools was an acute financial problem.
In all, there are about 1500 budget schools in the state, and all are in a similar situation. While most have closed, some are on the verge of getting closed with no admissions happening. One owner of Mother Teresa School in Karimnagar shares that he was unable to pay the rent of his building nor the loans he had taken in the hope of COVID giving a respite.