The story starts with the joining of a new English Teacher Rahul Prakash Udyavar (Shahid Kapoor) in Swaraswati Vidya Mandir school, situated in the outskirts of Mumbai Suburbs. Though he creates an instant rapport with students and teachers alike, he realizes that there is something amiss in this school. Slowly his doubts come true as the manager of the school, Sharma (Saurabh Shukla), makes many monetary obligations compulsory for the parents in the name of extracurricular activities. He goes to the extent of punishing the students inhumanly when the new and unjustified demands of the school are not met by the parents. Day by day the stress levels among the students increase. The situation becomes so explosive that it eventually turns into a national issue. Paathshala tries to answer many questions that are related to the sanctity of today's education system. The high morals and basic ethics of the teachings have taken a back seat. Making more profit than ever has become a new mantra of education institutions. The film is neither afraid of telling the truth of wrong doings by the greedy educational institutes on the face nor does it spare them from exposing the use of unethical media activities for the children who are yet not ready for it.