How parents, students and coaching institutes reacted to new guidelines issued by the Education Ministry
Coaching centers will now have to apply for registration as per the provisions within three months from the date of implementation of the guidelines.
The Ministry of Education on Thursday released a set of guidelines for the regulation of coaching centres across the country by way of an appropriate legal framework.
The release of the guidelines comes on the backdrop of "instances of coaching centers charging exorbitant fees, undue stress on students resulting in students committing suicides, loss of lives due to fire and other accidents and many other malpractices being adopted by these centers that are widely reported in the media,” mentioned the official press release.
“ I welcome the guidelines released by the Education Ministry to regulate the coaching centers. This will help monitor the standards of the institutes which will benefit the student community. Coaching institutes that do not maintain the standards in their infrastructure and other aspects might have a tough time but otherwise, it is good for students,” said Dr V V George Kutty, Principal of Civil Service Institute, Pala.
“Although there are few positive points like fee regulation and misleading results in the newly established ‘Guidelines for Registration and Regulation of Coaching Centre 2024’ centre mandate, I believe this regulation is dictatorial and draconian natured and is a step to hide the failure of Government school and college education system where majority students are not even able to solve simple science numerical because government resources had not covered exam questions qualitatively. Almost all toppers in competitive exams are from coaching centers,” said Kunal Singh who runs a city-based coaching centre in Chandigarh.
Coaching centers will now have to apply for registration as per the provisions of the guidelines within three months from the date of implementation of the guidelines. The following are the conditions for registration.
What is not permitted in a coaching center:
(1) Tutors qualifying less than graduation
(2) Enrolling students below 16 years of age or guaranteeing of rank or good marks to parents/students for enrolling them
(3) Make misleading promises/ advertisements
(4) Be registered, if it has less than the minimum space requirement per student
(5) Hire the services of any tutor or person who has been convicted for any offence involving moral turpitude.
(6) Be registered unless it has counselling system as per the requirement of the guidelines.
Coaching centers should also have a website with updated details regarding the tutors, fees charged, curriculum, etc, and must adhere to the laws, including separate registration as applicable in the local jurisdiction.
“The validity of the registration of coaching centers could have been mentioned in the guidelines. A quantitative mechanism to assess the facilities and quality of the institutions is essential to ensure the objectivity and transparency of the registration process,” says Dr V V George Kutty.
Mental Health Awareness
Students go through immense stress while studying for competitive exams. The academic pressure and high competition in these competitive exams like JEE, NEET, UPSC CSE, etc. take a toll on the students.
The guidelines call for a step to be taken by the coaching centers to ensure the mental well-being of students and the classes to be conducted without putting undue pressure on its students. A framework for mental health promotion is also included for the coaching centers.
“Coaching centers are encouraged to involve counselors and experienced psychologists to counsel and provide psychotherapeutic services to students for the resolution of mental stress and depression," stated the guidelines.
“Once the student is in this track there is no way to ventilate his or her stress. Constant analysis of self-worth under parental and social pressure can lead to depression or even suicide in such students. This is where the new guidelines for the coaching center come as a blessing. The emphasis on mental health and psychological well-being takes a new approach that was not familiar to such centers and is going to have a good impact on both parties. If you have a mentally sound and strong student population naturally the results will be better and that credit can be shared by the coaching center too,” said Lekshmi Vinayan, Consultant Psychologist.
The Ministry of Education called for a fair and reasonable fee to be charged for the curriculum/course provided to the students.
“If the student has paid for the course in full and is leaving the course in the middle of the prescribed period, the student will be refunded from out of the fees deposited earlier for the remaining period, on a pro-rata basis within 10 days,” mentioned the guidelines.
“For a middle-class family who want their children to excel in their education, the exorbitant fees charged by the coaching institutes are worrisome. If the guidelines can put a cap on the expensive fee collected by the coaching institutes, then this would help many students and parents,” says Mathews (name changed on request), whose daughter is taking classes from a well-known coaching institute in Hyderabad.
Netizens on social media posted tweets welcoming the guidelines by the Education Ministry on regulating coaching centers. Here are some reactions:
An X (formerly Twitter) user Rohit Aryan said that these regulations had to be released 10 years back and were the need of the hour.
“I took coaching for engineering entrance exams and I can say that the pressure is real in the classrooms of the coaching institutes. Small classrooms are stuffed with students and the long duration of the classes takes a toll on the students' health. Unhealthy competition among students and the use of abusive language by the management and teachers made the classes torturous. Hopefully, the new guidelines will keep a check on these coaching institutes and maintain a standard that will benefit many,” says Tina SJ, who took coaching classes from a branch of a famous coaching institute based in Secunderabad.
President of Chandigarh Parents Association, a parent's body of Chandigarh school parents, Nitin Goyal said, "While we welcome the decision, ideally there should be no requirement for coaching if schools did their job properly. How the government defines coaching centers should also be clear so that misuse can be avoided."