Private coaching centres earned sharp criticism from the minister for human resources development Prakash Javadekar on Monday.
Claiming that such centres treat students as “slaves” under the pretext of training them for admission to premier institutes, he said the decline in teaching standards in schools and colleges is due to increasing reliance on such centres.
According to an Assocham survey, close to 87% of primary and up to 95% higher secondary school students attend private coaching classes. The Supreme Court had in February said private coaching centres in the country need to be “regulated” as these cannot be “wiped out” and asked the Centre to ponder over framing guidelines for it.
Although no formal plans has been made by the HRD so far on framing guidelines for coaching centres, Odisha introduced the “Odisha Coaching Institutes Act 2017” in August to regulate them. Javadekar, speaking at the launch of the Smart India Hackathon 2018 in Pune, said: “It is a cause of worry … from Class VIII, students become slaves of these coaching institutes. They are being aught to only face competitive exams. The coaching institutes are promoting rote learning and not imparting actual knowledge.”
Claiming that the minister’s comment targeted ‘coaching institutes-school nexus’ which encourages dummy admissions, Aakash Chaudhry, director, Aakash Institute, said: “If dummy admissions in schools and attending coaching classes during school hours can be controlled, it won’t affect holistic education. This mostly happens in north India.”
Differentiating the two models of coaching, Chaudhry said: “Our model says that school is very important for overall development,” adding, “there should be clear guidelines like quality of teachers, that you cannot conduct classes during schools hours, GST and service taxes are not compromised so that students and parents are not left high and dry.”