Educational Reforms: Government Imposes Age Barrier for Coaching Centers – What You Need to Know
Written by Sanjay Kumar
India’s Ministry of Education has recently unveiled comprehensive guidelines, titled ‘Guidelines for Regulation of Coaching Center 2024,’ to regulate coaching centres across the country. These rules, accessible on the official Ministry of Education website, aim to establish standards for the operation of coaching centres, focusing on student supervision and academic support.
Definition of Coaching Centre:
The guidelines define a coaching centre as any facility providing coaching for study programmes, competitive tests, or academic support to students at the school, college, or university level, with a student capacity exceeding 50.
Coaching centres must register with local competent authorities, following specified forms, fees, and document requirements. Notably, each branch of a coaching centre is treated as a distinct entity, necessitating separate registration applications. Additionally, coaching centres cannot enroll students below 16 years of age, and tutors must hold a minimum qualification of graduation.
Student Enrolment and Fee Structure:
Enrollment is restricted to students above 16 years, and admission is permitted only after the successful completion of secondary school examinations. Tuition fees for various courses should be reasonable and detailed receipts provided. A comprehensive prospectus must be prominently displayed, containing details about courses, duration, classes, tutorials, hostel facilities, fees, exit policies, and procedures for fee refunds.
Complaint Mechanism and Exit Policies:
Coaching centres must establish a complaint mechanism for students, parents, tutors, and employees. Competent authorities or government-established inquiry committees will resolve complaints within thirty days. Pro-rata refunds are required for mid-course withdrawals within 10 days, and any fee increases during the course are strictly prohibited.
Infrastructure and Study Hours:
Coaching centres are required to allocate a minimum of one square meter per student in each class and comply with fire safety and building codes. Adequate electrification, ventilation, lighting, and security measures are mandatory, along with CCTV cameras, a first aid kit, and access to medical assistance. Class schedules should not overlap with regular school hours, and both students and tutors must have mandatory weekly offs to maintain a healthy teacher-student ratio.
Penalties for Violations:
In case of violations, penalties will be imposed. The first offense incurs a penalty of ₹25,000, the second offense warrants a penalty of ₹1 lakh, and repeated breaches may lead to the revocation of registration. The guidelines aim to ensure the safety, quality, and effectiveness of coaching centres for the benefit of students and the education system as a whole.