The state government recently announced that it was considering to regulate the 2500 coaching classes in Mumbai. At present, it is mandatory for coaching classes to register themselves. However, there is no regulation on the fee that they charge or on the qualification of teachers they employ. Coaching classes claim that they are ready to be 'regulated' but urge that they must be a part of the process of formulating the rules that will govern them.
Do coaching classes need regulation?
Every industry needs guidelines. Almost the entire batch of students from class 10 to class 12 opt for coaching classes and the need for regulation is obvious. Our meeting with the education minister on this issue is yet to take place. We don't mind the regulations but we should have representation in the process so we can offer suggestions to the regulatory authorities.
What specific aspects do you think need control?
Teachers already working in schools and colleges should not be employed by coaching classes, while teachers employed in coaching classes should meet specified qualifications.
Does encouraging coaching classes shift focus away from the mainstream education system?
Students are not forced to go to coaching centres. The reason behind their popularity is the need. Good, honest centres should not be victimised.
Should there be a ceiling for coaching class fees?
Different kinds of coaching classes cater to students from diverse financial backgrounds and no is forced to pay. There is no ceiling in the fees charged by professionals. A south Mumbai coaching centre may charge more than one in Virar. If the government tries to control the fees, it will only encourage underhand dealings and bribery.
Do you think that coaching classes have begun substituting colleges?
Some colleges have clubbed coaching classes with regular classes after realising a need for special coaching to succeed in competitive examinations. Not all students have the luxury to spare a year after school to prepare for competitive exams, so they start preparing during school.