Delhi govt to frame guidelines for all private coaching centres
The Delhi government will soon come up with a policy to regularise private coaching centres functioning in the national capital and will formulate guidelines for them in terms of infrastructure, land area, fees, and safety measures to be adopted.
According to officials at the Directorate of Education (DoE), private coaching centres are running as a parallel education system in Delhi, but they were out of the ambit of any regularisation and often operated without any statutory compliances leading to serious safety hazards. The DoE has asked all coaching institutes, having an enrolment of 20 and above students, to register themselves with the directorate by November 14 this year.
Yogesh Pal Singh,assistant director of DoE’s private school branch, said that the fire incident at a coaching centre in Gujarat’s Surat last year had prompted the Delhi government to formulate guidelines for the coaching centres with respect to basic facilities, fees, and safety measures. “The incident was a lesson and wake up call for us all. In Delhi, we have thousands of coaching institutes and centres, imparting pre-admission coaching to medical, engineering and students from other professional courses. They are a parallel education system that is out of the ambit of any regulations.”
“It had also come to the notice of the government about some incidents of cheating and fraud on the part of some coaching centres, which remain unresolved due to the lack of regulation. Therefore, an urgent need was felt to come up with a policy to regularise these coaching centres in Delhi,” he said.
As the first step to frame policy for regularisation, the DoE has decided to collect data from the private coaching centres in Delhi. “Due to the absence of any regulating policy, there is no data available on the number of coaching centres operating in Delhi. The DoE will now collect the data of such institutes and details of their infrastructure, land area, basic facilities, fee structure, safety standards,” Singh said.
Coaching centres, having an enrolment of more than 20 students, will have to register themselves with the DoE and fill up a performa that will be available on its official website from Thursday. “Once the data has been collected, we will formulate rules and regulations on how these coaching centres will be provided licences, what will their infrastructure be like, how much fees they can charge and how they can hire the teachers,” Singh said, adding that the centres providing coaching to the school students for board classes will also fall under the new rules that are to be framed..
Several coaching centres expressed reservations over the Delhi government’s decision. Arjun Ravindran, director, Vajiram & Ravi, one of Delhi’s oldest and much sought-after IAS coaching institutes, said, “The government should draw general statutes and tell that hereby coaching centres can apply and register themselves rather than randomly asking us to register with the DoE.”
Officials at some coaching centres disapproved of the idea of the government deciding fees for them. “Different coaching centres work differently and provide very different sets of facilities. We do not know how the government will formulate a policy on fees charged by the coaching centres,” said an official at a coaching centre in Lakshmi Nagar, who wished not to be named.
A senior Delhi government official, requesting anonymity, said, “The plan for regularising private coaching centres in Delhi was in the pipeline for the last few years. It’s very important to have a policy for the functioning of these coaching centres for the safety and security of students.”