Srinagar: The greed of private coaching has touched a new low in Kashmir with their charging of thousands of rupees from underprivileged students admitted for “free coaching” at the government’s insistence.
The Directorate of School Education (DSEK) recently trumpeted a figure of 1,800 underprivileged students availing “free” coaching for academic and professional courses at private coaching centres in Kashmir.
Even after admitting violations of its order in this respect, the DSEK has ironically given the nod to coaching centres to continue charging fees in thousands from often destitute and orphan students enrolled under the “free” quota, mandated by the state government.
The private coaching or tuition centres are fleecing the poor students in the name of “registration fee”, “study material charges”, “heating and lighting charges”, and even harassing them for non-compliance, several students and parents told Kashmir Reader.
The coaching centres have not spared even orphan students living at the ‘J&K Yateem Trust’. From them, two coaching centres have together minted at least Rs 60 000, from just a dozen orphans.
These two centres, ‘Kashmir Institute of Excellence’ (KIE) and ‘Rise’ in uptown Parraypora, have charged Rs 5,000 from each of the 12 students from the orphanage who were given admission for NEET coaching under the DSEK’s “free” quota, an official from J&K Yateem Trust told Kashmir Reader on condition of anonymity.
The KIE, as per the relative of a student enrolled there, has charged Rs 15,000 from him.
The two coaching centres have minted this money from the orphanage in name of “reading material” for their students.
‘Hope Classes’ in Parraypora is another misnomer where there is no hope for the students who are supposed to get “free” coaching here.
The centre is charging Rs 15,000 from the students who are supposed to be getting free coaching, a relative of one of the students enrolled there told Kashmir Reader.
The name of another coaching centre, ‘Peace Coaching Centre’, also doesn’t add up. The centre actually seems to be at war with the students who have been given admission for “free”.
“I have already deposited Rs 10,000 there, but they are demanding two thousand rupees more,” a student given admission at Peace Coaching Centre told this reporter.
His relative said that the centre was barring him from attending classes even after depositing Rs 10,000.
A relative of another student said that ‘Peace’ had charged Rs 7,000 from him “in the name of registration fee”.
‘VIPS’, another coaching centre, was also charging Rs 7,000 from the destitute students, relative of another student said.
“I had even approached the DSEK over the matter, but they denied any help,” added the relative.
On January 2, the DSEK said that selected candidates under the 10% Reserved Departmental Quota for free coaching/ tuition, from among students of reserved category, had complained to the directorate that ten coaching centres were charging “huge amount of fee on account of Study Material/ Examination/ Heating charges.”
The coaching centres, as disclosed by the DSEK, are:
1. Aakash Coaching Centre, Rajbagh/Nigeen. 2. Crescent Classes Hazratbal. 3. Kashmir Institute of Excellence, Parraypora. 4. Pulse, Khanyar/Parraypora 5. Paul’s Cambridge Institute, Parraypora. 6. Peace Coaching Institute, Parraypora 7. Excel Coaching Centre, Parraypora 8. Panaash Coaching Centre, Parraypora 9. RISE, Tulsibagh I0. Hope Classes, Parraypora.
Instead of taking any action against these centres, the DSEK has ironically allowed them to charge Rs 5, 000 as “Study Material, Examination and Heating” charges from all but orphan students.
In December, the DSEK said that 1,828 orphan and destitute students were selected for “free” coaching at centres across valley.
DSEK GN Itoo did not respond to calls made by this reporter.