Coaching centres cannot enrol students below 16 years of age, make misleading promises and guarantee rank or good marks, according to new guidelines announced by the Ministry of Education.
The guidelines for regulating coaching institutes have been framed to address the need for a legal framework and manage the unregulated growth of private coaching centres.
It comes following complaints received by the government about rising cases of student suicides, fire incidents, lack of facilities in coaching incidents as well as methodologies of teaching adopted by them.
"No coaching centre shall engage tutors having qualifications less than graduation. The institutions cannot make misleading promises or guarantee rank or good marks to parents for enrolling students in the coaching centres. The institutes cannot enrol students below 16 years of age. Student enrolment should be only after secondary school examination," the guidelines said.
"The coaching institutes cannot publish or cause to be published or take part in the publication of any misleading advertisement relating to any claim, directly or indirectly, of quality of coaching or the facilities offered therein or the result procured by such coaching centre or the student who attended such class," it added.
The coaching centres cannot hire the services of any tutor or person who has been convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude. An institute will not be registered unless it has a counselling system as per the requirement of these guidelines.
"Coaching centres shall have a website with updated details of the qualification of tutors, courses/curriculum, duration of completion, hostel facilities, and the fees being charged," the guidelines stated.
According to new guidelines, due to tough competition and academic pressure on students, coaching centres should take steps for the mental well-being of students and may conduct classes without putting undue pressure on them.
"They should establish a mechanism for immediate intervention to provide targeted and sustained assistance to students in distress and stressful situations. The competent authority may take steps to ensure that a counselling system is developed by the coaching centre and is easily available for the students and parents.
"Information about the names of psychologists, counsellors and the time they render services may be given to all students and parents. Trained counsellors could be appointed in the coaching centre to facilitate effective guidance and counselling for students and parents," the guidelines stated.
It also mentioned that tutors "may undergo training in mental health issues to convey information effectively and sensitively to students about their areas of improvement".
The guidelines detailing the framework on mental wellbeing come against the backdrop of student suicides in coaching hub Kota in 2023. The rapid increase in the number of student suicides flagged various issues plaguing the coaching industry.
According to the guidelines, the tuition fees for different courses and curricula being charged shall be fair and reasonable and receipts for the fee charged must be made available.
"If the student has paid for the course in full and is leaving the course in the middle of the prescribed period, a student will be refunded from out of the fees deposited earlier for the remaining period on a pro-rata basis within 10 days.
"If the student was staying in the hostel of the coaching centre then the hostel fees and mess fee etc. will also be refunded. Under no circumstances, the fee based on which enrolment has been made for a particular course and duration shall be increased during the currency of the course," it said.
Giving teeth to the policy, the Centre has suggested that coaching centres be penalised up to Rs 1 lakh or their registration be cancelled for charging exorbitant fees that cause undue stress leading to student suicide or for other malpractices.
To ensure proper monitoring of the coaching institutes, the government has proposed registration of new and existing centres within three months after the guidelines come into effect.
The state government will be responsible for monitoring the activities of the coaching centre and enquiring about any coaching centre regarding the fulfilment of required eligibility of registration and satisfactory activities of the coaching centre.
"Considering that regulation of +2 level education is the responsibility of State/Union Territory Governments, these institutions are best regulated by the State / UT governments," the document stated.
(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)