Draft bill on coaching institutes in Maharashtra: ‘Small tuition centres will struggle to survive’
The owners’ primary objection pertains to the classification of tuition classesmumbai Updated: Jun 13, 2018 00:37 IST
A section of tuition class owners have complained that the revised draft bill of Maharashtra’s proposed law to regulate tuition classes serves the interests of only large coaching establishments. The draft will burden the smaller classes with a regulatory framework, they added.
The owners said the smaller classes won’t be able to meet many of the norms proposed in the draft of Maharashtra Private Tuitions (Regulation) Act, 2018 and, as a result, they won’t be able to sustain themselves. However, another section of classes said the provisions are reasonable.
The revised draft has been prepared by a state-appointed 14-member committee of government officials and representatives of coaching classes.
The owners’ primary objection pertains to the classification of tuition classes. The document has defined two types of tuition classes: home tuition and private tuition unit. A maximum of five students can be taught in home tuitions. Establishments with more than five students will be referred to as private tuition units. Home tuitions and private tuitions are required to seek a licence and renew it after three and five years respectively. However, home tuitions are exempt from most of the infrastructure and other norms.
Owners demanded that the number of students in home tuitions not be limited to five. “Many tutors teach anywhere between 40 and 60 students in their homes. Many women sustain their families by teaching children at home. To expect them to comply with the norms being applied to established coaching classes is not fair,” said Ladika Ruke, secretary of Maharashtra Class Owners’ Association.
She suggested classes should be divided in three, instead of two categories: small, medium and large.
According to the draft bill, private tuition units are required to provide, among others, desks, separate toilets for girls and boys, and parking space. They will also have to acquire a no-objection certificate from local bodies.
“If those who teach students at their homes are to seek approval from local bodies, their classes will be considered as business establishments. They will have to pay taxes and bills according to commercial rates. It won’t be sustainable for them,” said Ruke.
Ruke also objected to the government’s plan to make the tuition classes give 1% of their profits to the state. “The large classes may be able to pay this amount, but smaller classes, which already pay goods and services tax (GST) and professional tax will be crushed. No other profession has to comply with such a provision,” she said.
However, Jagdish Walavalkar, president, Maharashtra Coaching Class Owners’ Association, who was also a member of the panel that prepared the draft bill, defended the provisions. “One has to define a threshold number to distinguish between classes. It can be 5, 10, 15 or 25. We think that in a room in home one can only teach up to five students. If one wants more students, they should be considered as a coaching class,” he said.