Bangalore News: Closed since March, Bengaluru pre-schools are up for sale | Bengaluru News – Times of India
According to various stakeholders, the number of pre-schools up for sale in the city has gone up significantly.
“There has been a surge in owners selling schools. In the last two months, I have received queries about 185 pre-schools up for sale in Bengaluru,” said Prasanna Kumar, CEO of School Ventures, that connects buyers and sellers of schools.
“Across India, I have 600 clients who want to sell their pre-primaries. I expect these numbers to go up significantly by July.” With most of these pre-schools being run by women entreprenuers with little backing, there is no financial bandwidth to sustain business for long in these circumstances, he pointed out.
An educational consultant who deals with sales agreed: “There has been a depreciation in the market and sales of pre-schools are up as indicated by many digital platforms used for such transactions.”
The Karnataka Council of Pre-Schools which has around 2,000 members is meeting primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar on Thursday to submit a memorandum. “Our case is that we are one of the safest places for children as they come from nearby, have minimum contact with adults and stay in clean surroundings that are sanitised regularly. We are essential for working parents. Online classes are not an option as children already have enough exposure to screen time at home. We have to look at how to generate revenue to pay salaries and rents and keep us alive and not close schools,” said Pruthvi Banwasi, secretary of the council and owner of twopreschools.
Owners like Pruthvi are looking at closing a branch or merging branches to cut down on operational costs.
The forecast is grim though. Suresh Kumar had earlier told TOI that he is under pressure from parents to skip an academic year for pre-primary classes as they fear for their children’s safety. At the same time, he tweeted that online classes will not be allowed for these sections. The education department has asked Nimhans to prepare a report on whether it’s advisable to do so.
Pre-school owners say no money to pay rent, salaries
The situation is terrible. We are yet to receive fees from last year. No new admissions are happening. There has been no school or day care. Yet, we have to pay rent and salaries among other expenditures. There’s also no clarity on when we can reopen. We’re a section whose voice has not been heard,” said Sandhya Prithvi, director of Creative kidz, who quit her corporate career to work with children.
While some schools are working on online models, many believe it’s ineffective.
“Most pre-schools are establishments run by women entrepreneurs with a small, decent profit. The slump is hurting this section of society,” said Mridula Shridhar of Kido enterprise. “While we help 200-300 women every year to set up their own preschools, we have had less than 100 sign up for our programme this time round. We have asked them to put their plans on hold because of the uncertainty. Never in our 27 years of service have we faced such a slump.”