Regulating Coaching Centres

Regulating Coaching Centres

News: The recent guidelines for regulating coaching centres, released by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, aim to address concerns related to private coaching centres such as student suicides, fire incidents, lack of facilities, and teaching methodologies.

What are the guidelines?
• Registration: Coaching centres must apply for registration with the local competent authority, adhering to specified forms, fees, and document requirements set by the government. Each branch of a coaching centre is treated as a distinct entity, requiring separate registration applications.
• Student Enrolment: Coaching centres cannot enrol students below 16 years of age.
• Fee Structure: The guidelines aim to prevent coaching centres from charging exorbitant fees.
• Safety Norms: Coaching centres must conform with fire safety and building safety norms.
• Psychological and Mental Health Support: Coaching centres are required to provide psychological and mental health support to students.
• Misleading Promises: Coaching centres are prohibited from making misleading promises and guaranteeing rank or good mark.

Need for regulation:
• The alarming increase in student suicides, with 26 reported cases in Kota alone in 2023, underscores the immense pressure on schoolchildren.
• The Department of Higher education, emphasized on the need for regulations in light of issues like student suicides, fire incidents, inadequate facilities, and teaching methodologies.
• The rise of ‘dummy schools’ linked to coaching centers, where physical attendance is not mandatory, has raised concerns. Parents often uproot their families and take loans to relocate to coaching hubs in pursuit of quality education.

What is the perspective of coaching centre’s and parents?
• The Coaching Federation of India (CFI), representing over 25,000 coaching institutes, may legally contest the minimum age requirement, seeking a reduction from 16 years to 12 years.
• Well known coaching centres are of the view that the regulations may intensify competitive stress among students, offering them less time for preparation.
• Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, President of the India-Wide Parents’ Association, raised concerns about the age limit criteria. She mentioned that many students commence preparation for competitive exams like NEET and JEE from the age of 15. As schools lack provisions for these exam preparations, coaching becomes the sole viable option.

• Misleading promises that guarantee high scores and emphasize solely on achieving Good ranks have come at the cost of holistic student development. However, the regulations also highlight the necessity of improving quality of education in school. 

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