oppn parties Regulating Coaching Centres

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oppn parties
Regulating Coaching Centres

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-01-19 14:07:17

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

In a major policy decision regarding coaching centres (shops?), the Centre has notified new rules for registration and running of such centres. The Centre is concerned about the growth of unregulated coaching centres in the absence of any guidelines and the high rate of suicide among students attending coaching classes. All coaching centres will have to register with the authorities mandatorily before starting operations and existing centres will have to apply afresh. Each branch of coaching centre chains will be treated as a separate, stand-alone entity. An institute will not be granted registration if it does not have a student counseling system. The centres will be penalized up to Rs 1 lakh or their registration maybe cancelled for violating the rules.

No coaching centre can engage tutors who are not graduates. They are barred from hiring teachers who have been convicted for moral turpitude. Additionally they are barred from charging exorbitant fees. The rules prescribe that if students leave mid-way in a course, the fee paid by them has to be refunded on pro-rata basis. Henceforth, all coaching centres will mandatorily have a website where updated information like fee structure for each course, qualification of teachers hired, course/curriculum, and duration for completion, among other things, will be uploaded. The centres are also barred from issuing misleading advertisements or making false/misleading claims on results achieved and students who attended classes in their centre.

The biggest change in rule, one that is likely to hurt a majority of these coaching shops, is the requirement that no centre will enroll students below the age of 16 or those who have not passed the secondary (Class X) examination. All coaching centres have, going by the belief that an early start gives students a competitive advantage, enrolling students as young as 14 years, or ones who are in Class IX (although some so-called 'techno schools' do this in-house from as early as class VI). There are arguments both for and against starting coaching at an early age, but given the extreme pressure, the high suicide rate in students of coaching centres and the fact that children lose a good part of their childhood if pushed so early, it is welcome that the government has capped the enrolment age at 16 years.