Stringent Govt Rules For Coaching Centres Elicit Diverse Perspectives Among Experts, Students
BW Education engages with students and experts to acquire a thorough comprehension of the stringent guidelines set by the Centre for Coaching Classes in India
In India engineering and medicine have been regarded as the popular career theorem for decades. Fueling this trend are private coaching classes, selling ambitious career aspirations to both parents and children. The influence of private tutoring has overshadowed the traditional schooling system in the country, transforming it into a lucrative industry draining parents' hard-earned money and impacting children's impressionable minds. To curb this exploitation, the government has issued new guidelines for coaching centres, aimed at ensuring the safety and wellbeing of students.
Significantly, the Centre's stringent actions are primarily motivated by the alarming rise in the number of tragic deaths among minors. Between 2017 and 2019, a staggering 24,000 children aged 14 to 18 years took their own lives, with more than 4,000 cases attributed to exam-related stress, as revealed by the consolidated data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on children's suicide.
The central government’s new coaching regulations were introduced on 18 January 2024. The rules mandate changes in fees, infrastructure, etc. One of the notable measures entails that no coaching institute, regardless of the state, will be permitted to admit children below the age of 16.
Suresh Kalpathi, CEO, Veranda Learning Solutions, expressed his views on the Centre's measure by emphasising the importance of establishing clear expectations and standards. He believes that this initiative promotes transparency, ethical practices and the overall wellbeing and academic development of students within coaching classes. However, Anthony Fernandes, Founder, Shaalaa.com, holds a distinct viewpoint. He expressed that while certain new guidelines may benefit coaching centres, others require modification or adjustment to cater to the diverse needs of students.
While both leaders hold their views on the rule. According to the Centre, coaching classes that do not comply with the prescribed guidelines or violate the established rules and conditions will face strict penalties. The first offense will result in a fine of Rs 25,000, followed by a fine of Rs 1 lakh for the second offense. If a third offense occurs, the registration may be revoked and a substantial penalty will be imposed.
BW Education engaged in an interaction with a few students to gain their insight into the new coaching restriction. Dhruva S (11-years-old) a student from sixth grade said, “I am pleased with the new regulation as it will allow me to have additional time for playing. However, I am apprehensive about managing my challenging homework without any support, particularly considering my working parents.”
In a similar vein, Shreya Satam (14-years-old) a ninth-grade student said the changed rule is increasing my concerns, my parents have already enrolled me in the top coaching class and paid huge fees, considering that this June will mark my SSC term.
She stressed, “I do not believe that I will be able to achieve a high score in a state-level exam by solely relying on self-study and attending only school.”
In the meantime, adhering to the latest regulation, coaching class sessions will now be restricted to a maximum duration of 5 hours per day, with no classes scheduled in the morning or late at night. Furthermore, coaching centres have been instructed to include breaks during festivals, promoting stronger emotional bonds between students and teachers.
Considering this Kalpathi said, “The prescribed teaching time and breaks will strike a balance, contributing to a well-rounded learning environment.”
Furthermore, Fernandes suggested that if coaching classes become the primary source of knowledge for students, it indicates a failure on the part of the school to fulfill its responsibilities, as it should not compel students to rely on external coaching.
The coaching classes have always been under the limelight, as there are numerous small and medium-sized coaching institutes operating in India. According to reports, the industry is valued at approximately USD 6.5 billion, with an estimated 7,000 coaching institutes functioning in the country.
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