Five days after a fire tragedy in a Surat coaching institute claimed lives of 22 students, a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking norms to regulate private coaching institutes across India.
Filed by advocate Pawa Pathak, the PIL sought directions to the Centre to frame guidelines for safety measures and prescribing minimum standard for allowing them to operate.
Despite mushrooming of coaching institutes as a “parallel education system”, there were no statutes, rules or guidelines to regulate them, except in Bihar, the petitioner submitted.
“According to ASSOCHAM’s survey, a whopping number of close to 87% of primary school children and up to 95% of the higher secondary attend private coaching classes,” the petition submitted.
The petition sought to highlight the issue of students’ safety and emphasised the importance of Right to Education.
Maintaining that regulating coaching institutes will “create a better scenario”, the petitioner submitted that basic facilities, fees and safety measures will have to be in consonance with the guidelines.
“There will be initial resistance to all the new regulations, curtailing the freedom that coaching classes are used to up to the present but after the initial teething troubles, the petitioner is of view that regularization of coaching classes will create a better scenario for the students, their parents and the those who run the coaching classes,” the petitioner submitted.
“With the increasing peer pressure, majority of parents are forced to rely on private tuitions for in addition to attending classes in school. Over 86% of parents think that they are ill-equipped or lack time to teach their children on their own and here’s where coaching classes come handy according to various reports and newspaper cuttings. The statistics reveal that the middle-class parents have been spending 1/3rd of their monthly on their wards’ private tuitions.”