Stop study tours, excursions by tuition centres: panel

Call also to stop special classes at night held by these centres for hours ahead of examinations. Attending such classes after the students were at school for the entire day affected their mental and physical health, besides increasing parents’ stress

August 05, 2023 06:43 pm | Updated 06:43 pm IST

Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed that stringent steps be taken to put a stop to study tours and excursions conducted by tuition centres or parallel colleges with or without registration.

The direction by commission member Reni Antony to the General Education and Local Self-government Secretaries, State Police Chief, and the Transport Commissioner, came on a petition from teacher and education activist Sam John of Valakom, Kollam.

The commission also directed that steps be taken to ban ‘night study’ conducted by private tuition centres and parallel colleges ahead of SSLC and higher secondary examinations.

The petitioner had pointed out that while schools conducted study tours and excursions with the General Education department’s permission and in compliance with strict norms, including presence of teachers, private tuition centres that had no licence or registration or permanent teachers organised tours for adolescents lasting up to four days without permission from any of the authorities. They also charged a huge fee for the trips.

Replying to a notice from the commission, the State Police Chief said district police chiefs had directed all station house officers (SHOs) to ensure that all guidelines for conducting such tours were followed and parents were sensitised to the seriousness of the matter. Moreover, guidelines had been prepared for excursions conducted by tuition centres and other such educational establishments and strict directions issued to them.

The Kollam regional transport officer (RTO), in a report, said such tours could not be held for students without the permission of the General Education department. Strict action was being taken by the Motor Vehicles department (MVD) against those organising such trips in violation of rules. Though there were limitations in banning trips if all vehicle documents were in order, the MVD had deployed a team to prevent trips organised for students alone without licence or registration from the General Education department.

The commission observed that some tuition centres and parallel colleges exploited students’ curiosity to make a profit. They did not adhere to guidelines issued by the government for conducting tours and excursions, and forced students and parents to go on these tours.

Also, conduct of special classes at night for hours ahead of examinations by such centres after students attended school during the day was unscientific and affected students’ mental and physical health, besides increasing parents’ stress. Such night classes should be completely stopped, the commission said.

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