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TWO MONTHS after they deliberated with the state education department, members of the coaching classes operating across Maharashtra are hopeful of a breakthrough on March 28, when they would be meeting the officials to finalise the draft bill for Coaching Act.
In January this year, the Professional Teachers’ Association (PTA), comprising owners and tutors of coaching institutes, had given recommendations in reply to the 17 newly- proposed rules put forth by the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education of Maharashtra. The recommendations included capping of fees and limiting student intake per batch, regular renewal of registration of coaching centres, and evaluation of quality of teaching at these centres.’
While 15 of the 17 recommendations were in-principle agreed to by the education department, two key points pertaining to fee regulation and capping student strength in a batch had not reached desired consensus.
Deliberations have been going on since then and the government is expected to give its final say on Wednesday.
“We have had several rounds of discussions with the government. They have agreed that the government will not interfere or suggest fee cap to coaching centres. They had asked centres to limit student intake to 120, with additional capacity to go upto 130 students per batch if the centre has required amenities. This was unanimously agreed by PTA,” said Bandopant Bhuyar, PTA’s regional head and one of the 12 members to deliberate with the state education department in this matter.
The PTA had also during its January 15 meeting, put forth to the education department to bring in a uniform fee refund policy as at present, there is no standard refund scheme in place.
“At the moment, the fee refund is dealt with on individual case basis and at times, these matters are not properly resolved leading to litigation. PTA members from Pune have proposed some refund policy based on the period that the student avails coaching. But, we want the government to introduce some uniform refund policy for better transparency,” said Durgesh Maneshkar, one of the PTA, Pune, representatives and director of the IITian’s Prashikshan Kendra Pvt. Ltd.
With the suspected involvement of some teachers in leaking Class X question papers in Mumbai, the PTA has urged the government to look into the case of school teachers who also operate private coaching centres.
“We want the government to take strict action against such teachers . We propose a vigilance committee and PTA members can also be part of this committee. This will help keep a check on errant teachers,” said Bhuyar.