Coaching centres violate govt norms in Kashmir valley

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Wahid Bhat|SRINAGAR

Over-crowded classes, crouched space, extensive class work and what not in tuition centers operating in different parts of Kashmir valley.

With authorities saying that they are trying to streamline the sector, these centres are in mess.

Bisma Raheed, a class 12 student of a coaching centre in uptown Srinagar Parraypora, said teachers impart lectures on microphones to about 230 students and continuous exposure to the loud sound does not allow her to concentrate on studies.

Inspite of the repeated assurances by the Government to check the functioning and operation of various coaching / tuition centers in J&K state, the Government has miserably failed to fulfill its promise.

The coaching centers which are operating in Srinagar have totally bypassed the orders passed by the Government on several occasions.

According to reports the regular employees of Colleges ranging from Asst Prof’s, Associate Professor’s and even Professors are seen taking classes during office hours. Even at many places the Higher Secondary School lecturers are attending coaching centers during office hours and Government is a mute spectator.

Directorate of School Education Kashmir has already asked all private tuition centres to register themselves with the department and provide basic facilities to the students.

Government teachers are also barred from teaching at these centres. DSEK issued order last year which reads that “The documents related to infrastructure and other facilities i.e.

Minimum area/space of 9 sq feet per candidate, separate waiting room, separate drinking water facilities for female candidates, electricity, heating/cooling arrangements in classrooms /waiting halls should in place. If any education agency/tuition centre/coaching center fails to seek permission/registration within the stipulated time, it shall be liable for appropriate action under rules.”

The order has also made it clear that the coaching centres would not be allowed to operate during the day when schools remain functional.

Many alleged that all these guidelines are restricted only to papers. In the scorching heat the students are bunched in small rooms with no cooling facilities. Even during winters there are no heating arrangements as well. “There are hundreds of coaching centres where hundreds of students are accommodated in small rooms. This is a huge nuisance and a cause of concern,” said Fayaz Ahmad, a parent of a student.

The coaching centres in Srinagar, Baramulla, Anantnag etc have become hub of immoral activities. The vagabonds and ruffians can be seen roaming freely outsides these places especially in Parraypora area of Srinagar city and the police too has failed to check this menace. The outside youth come to these coaching centres and start eve teasing female students.

The Government had given 15 days time to coaching centres in January this year to get their registration/permission formalities completed under the Jammu and Kashmir Regulation of Private Tuition Centre (Rules 2010), failing which action was supposed to be initiated against the defaulters but all these rules are being bypassed by the coaching centres and Government is a mute spectator, said a parent Mohammad Ameen Mir from Chanapora, Srinagar.

The Director School Education Kashmir had issued a direction to coaching centres vide Government Order No 435/Edu of 2010, directing all the private tuition centres to get the registration/permission from the competent authority to continue their operations, failing which appropriate action will be taken against them. “The application for permission /registration must be accompanied with all the notifications displaying monthly tuition fee charged from students and also the notification displaying particulars of its faculty members including their qualification and experience.

The order further reads that “The documents related to infrastructure and other facilities i.e. minimum area/space of 9 sq feet per candidate, separate waiting room, separate drinking water facilities for female candidates, electricity, heating/cooling arrangements in classrooms /waiting halls should in place. If any education agency/tuition centre/coaching center fails to seek permission/registration within the stipulated time, it shall be liable for appropriate action under rules.”

The order has also made it clear that the coaching centres would not be allowed to operate during the day when schools remain functional.

No centre offering tuitions for classes 9 to 12 besides coaching for competitive examinations has made its fee structure public, which is violation of government guidelines set for private coaching centres.

“Most of the coaching centres force the students to pay tuition fee in advance,” said Haris, an engineering aspirant who has sought admission in one of the coaching institutes in Raj bagh.

“For four months I have to make an advance payment of Rs 40,000. I had requested that I will pay in installments but they refused,” he said.

The government had directed private tuition centres to notify their fee structure in “leading newspapers” before starting classes.

In October last year, the directorate of school education had granted provisional recognition to 182 coaching centres, asking proprietors to maintain a proper record of tuition fee in accounting books besides displaying monthly tuition fee charged from students subject-wise, class- wise and course- wise.

Officials at DSEK Kashmir speaking to Ground report said that they will also find out whether they (centers) adhere to the rules and set guidelines. “If found violating we will take strict actions against them”, they added.