Even after the passage of more than four years, the regulation of the private coaching centres by competent authorities seems a distant dream in Kashmir.
Since 2012, the school education department has failed to regulate the functioning of private coaching institutes which has given a free hand to the proprietors to fleece the parents, seeking admission of their kids for tuitions.
Despite the strict JK High Court directions to regulate functioning of coaching centres, the school education department has failed to implement the guidelines on grounds.
“Most of the coaching centres are functioning without proper registration and charging arbitrary fee from students. There is no supervision from authorities,” a senior official in education department said.
The JK High Court in 2013 directed the school education department to grant registrations to the coaching centres only after the owners fulfill the departmental guidelines.
However, the education department seems to be in deep slumber as no inspection has been conducted on the coaching centres for the past three years.
“The delay in conducting inspections has delayed the process of issuing registration certificates to the institutes,” an official said.
With no supervision from authorities, coaching centers invite admissions for tuitions, comptetive coaching classes – in violation of norms. “As per High Court directions a committee is constituted at district level to monitor the functioning of coaching centres. It was supposed to inspect the coaching institutes in their respective districts to supervise the implementation of department’s guidelines for the coaching centers. But the guidelines remain confined to papers only,” said an official in school education department.
The authorities from past many years have been issuing circulars to the coaching centres asking them to regulate pupil teacher ratio in classrooms and provide basic facilities to the students.
“But these circulars remain confined to papers only. The government circulars have zero implementation on grounds,” an official said.
In violation of the government norms, the coaching centres start their classes before 8 am in morning and close after 5pm in evening.
“As per the government guidelines, the timings of the students must be set between 9 am to 5 pm. But students are forced to attend classes in wee hours,” complained a parent, Nazeer Ahmad from Baramulla.
Every year, the issue for registration of coaching centres comes into public domain after parents complain about non availability of facilities for students. “But the issue dies down with the resumption of schools after winter vacations,” Ahmad said.
Interestingly, there are 550 coaching centres in Kashmir including 125 in Srinagar alone.
“Out of 125, 111 coaching centres have applied for renewal of their registration in Srinagar,” an official said.
He said some have applied for new registration while as some have submitted their documents for renewal of previous registrations.
“But we didn’t issue registration to any coaching centre since July 2015 following the High Court directions to department to conduct inspection of the coaching centres,” he said.
It may be recalled that the delay in providing registration certificates to the coaching institutions has taken a toll on students as some coaching centres have been forcibly shut by Police on this pretext.
Coaching centres in Sopore town of Baramulla district continue to remain shut for over a month as JK Police asked them to produce registration certificates.
“This is uncalled for. No coaching centre has been given registration certificate yet. Only Sopore is being made a target,” said a proprietor of coaching centre in Sopore, wishing not to be named.
Recently, additional deputy Commissioner, Srinagar convened a meeting with the officials of school education department to review the status of inspection of coaching centres.
“In the meeting, additional deputy Commissioner stressed for conducting inspection of coaching centres on war footings so that registration certificates will be issued to them,” an official said.
Chairman Coaching Centres Association Kashmir (CCAK) G N Var said the government should conduct the inspection in the upcoming months so that the students would start their routine classes after the commencement of new academic session.
“The inspection should be started in these months only. But ironically, government wakes up to this issue only after December when students start new academic session. That time the government inspection disturb the class work,” Var said.