This essay is about the recent diktat of the education minister. What must have been his thought process while issuing such a horrific order for the closure of tuition centers in the state for the upcoming 90 days? What they have considered and what they should have to consider and what are the measure that could have been taken instead of the issuing the blanket closure of centers running academic courses?
Before going to the core of the problem, let me dwell on the nature and the gist of the order itself. The Government issued an order no. 653-DSEK of 2018 dated 24.04.2018. The order said that the private tuition centers in the state are governed by the J&K Regulation of Private Tuition Centers rules 2010 notified by the Government vide order no 435 – Edu of 2010 dated 30.04.2010 read with Government order no. 558- Edu of 2015 dated 27.10.2015.
The order read that tuition center shall notify and display monthly fee charged from students subject-wise and class-wise, 15 days before start of such course. This directive is taken care , by almost all tuition centers , who either publish it in a local newspaper before beginning of the session or in the handouts made available to the students while securing admission.
It further reads that permission shall be restricted to two shifts , that is, one shift half an hour before school timing and other shift half an hour after the working hours of the school. Almost all tuition centers comply this they either run the morning batch before school timing or in the evening or both but not during school times. This will, in itself , be a morbid act. Most of the students go to school during summers and coaching centers will not run risk of overlapping timing with schools.
All the tuition centers running within the State are running after getting fresh NOC from the concerned departments. The No objection certificate is granted only after thorough inspection o tuition centers . After taking cognizance of all facilities including fee charged from students, class strength, CCTV installation, number of teachers, whether teacher is working with government institute or not and many other things.
Consequences of the Order:
The Association of coaching centers decided to defy the order of the government over the closure order. However, the government issued the formal order, soon after, and therefore it becomes mandatory for all centers to shut down.
Apart from the reasons mentioned in the government order there were other things making rounds one among them was that they are closing centers so that students in panic will attend classes to complete the syllabus. The flawed assumption is that they study from coaching centers and later, get involved in activities like stone pelting during school timings. Instead of taking measures to curb these activities authorities have put an axe over these tuition centers with no fault of theirs.
Whatever be the reason the bottom line is that this order will serve no purpose as far as violence is concerned. Otherwise, also when NOC is granted to an institute, it implicitly means that they are following the previous government. What else could be the motive to this order at this time when students have already paid in full? The people who are on receiving end of this order and will suffer are students, their parents and not the coaching center owners who seem to be punished because of the said order seemingly so.
Coaching centers have served as a backbone of our education system given the turbulent atmosphere of our State. Students cover most of the syllabus during winters when schools are not functional, and, in summers too, we do not know whether there will be unrest or not. One could not even imagine academic life of students if they have to rely on the school system only. Instead of appreciating efforts of these entrepreneurs, who apart from imparting education also generate employment for the State which is suffering from the menace of unemployment? What will happen to fee of these students, who will cover t he syllabus, what will happen to huge infrastructure made available by these tuition centers for students? What will those thousands of employees who receive employment from these tuition centers?
There are many other reasons that they must continue. Besides when in rest of India, these institutes are working parallel and back to back to the formal education system, why should they issue a blanket ban over the State for the reasons which stand nowhere against the benefits they offer?
—The author is an advocate at the High court J&K , Srinagar. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org