New Guidelines for Coaching Centres:
Coaching Centres Can’t Enrol Students Below 16, Government Registration Mandatory
SRINAGAR: The Union Education Ministry has issued a set of new guidelines for coaching centres. According to the guidelines, study centres cannot enroll students below 16 years of age, make misleading promises, or guarantee rank or good marks.
The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Education, also mandate coaching centres to register with the government. “Existing centres must register again within three months of the implementation of the guidelines. The centres are not allowed to hire tutors who have been convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude. Additionally, each branch of a coaching institute will be treated as a separate entity,” read the guidelines.
Citing cases of rising student suicides, exorbitant high fees at study centres, and mental pressure, the Higher Education department has brought out detailed guidelines to be followed by coaching centres across the country.
The guidelines further stipulate that if any coaching centre breaches any terms or conditions of registration or general requirements, it will face penalties. This means Rs. 25,000 for the first violation, Rs 1 lakh for a second offense, and registration revocation for subsequent breaches.
The guidelines also set educational qualifications for tutors, requiring them to have a minimum of a graduation degree. Coaching institutes are not allowed to engage tutors with qualifications less than graduation. Additionally, coaching centres are barred from making misleading promises through advertisements or guarantees regarding ranks or marks to parents for enrolling students.
Coaching centres cannot hire the services of any tutor or person who has been convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude. An institute will not be registered unless it has a counselling system as per the requirement of these guidelines.
“Coaching centres shall have a website with updated details of the qualification of tutors, courses/curriculum, duration of completion, hostel facilities, and the fees being charged,” the guidelines stated.
It also stipulated that due to tough competition and academic pressure on students, coaching centres should take steps for the mental well-being of students and may conduct classes without putting undue pressure on them.
The guidelines further require coaching centres to have a counselling system in place. They are encouraged to provide information about the names of psychologists and counsellors, as well as their availability. Trained counsellors may also be appointed to support the students.
The centres should establish a mechanism for immediate intervention to provide targeted and sustained assistance to students in distress and stressful situations. The competent authority may take steps to ensure that a counselling system is developed by the coaching centre and is easily available for the students and parents, it said.
Moreover, Coaching centres are required to have a website that includes updated information about the qualifications of tutors, courses and curriculum, duration of completion, hostel facilities, and fees. The guidelines also ensure that if a student withdraws from a course before its completion, they will be refunded a portion of the fees on a pro rata basis within 10 days.