Private schools continue to hold special coaching classes

Defy School Education Department’s circular

Self-financed schools in the region have paid scant regard to the circular issued last year by the School Education Department that private schools must desist from engaging private agencies on commercial terms or have any kind of tie-up with private agencies on commercial terms to conduct special coaching classes during school hours on the school premises.

The circular prohibited schools from collecting any fee other than the tuition fee under the guise of conducting special coaching classes. “Profiteering by the private schools continue unabated though the managements are careful enough not to force all students to join the coaching classes,” D. Rajkumar, former Principal of Aurobindo International School, Tiruchi, said.

To offer integrated coaching for competitive examinations from Class VI onwards, the schools charge up to one lakh rupees as additional amount over and above the school fee that is also equally hefty. But the practice of schools is to pay only half of the amount collected for integrated coaching to private agencies, he said.

The tie-up with private agencies has reflected in schools easing out senior subject teachers much to the chagrin of parents. The visibility of direct involvement of private agencies in the teaching-learning process is insulated by the managements by assigning regular teachers the responsibility of explaining contents and conducting tests as designed by private agencies.

The syllabi is taught in the forenoon session and the coaching happens in the afternoon, a senior teacher acknowledged. The circular says that violation of instructions will warrant stringent penal action under the Tamil Nadu Recognised Private Schools (Regulation) Act, 1973, that includes withdrawal of recognition.

The circular went on to state that the teaching should not promote one particular career option without realising the aptitude of students. But parents have mixed opinion about the circular. While one section feels that there must be a stringent mechanism to monitor fee collection, another section favours integrated coaching citing the convenience factor.

But, the fact is that the future of senior teachers whose importance is getting faded hangs in balance. After their exit from schools that prefer to have fresh recruits for measly payments, the experienced teachers eventually end up offering private coaching for students after school hours, Mr. Rajkumar said.

According to a senior professor of Bharathidasan University, the onus must be on parents to grasp the reality of students preferring arts and science programmes over professional courses after schooling.

When contacted, M.Ramakrishnan, Chief Educational Officer, Tiruchi, said that Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has permitted conduct of NEET coaching only during summer vacation. Conduct of integrated coaching during academic year in schools will be dealt with strictly, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:04:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/private-schools-continue-to-hold-special-coaching-classes/article27141652.ece

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