Delhi Announces Plan to Regulate Private Coaching Centers
The Delhi government has announced plans to regulate local coaching centers. The city now requires private coaching centers with more than 20 students to register themselves with the Directorate of Education (DoE) and will be issuing guidelines covering facilities, fees, and safety measures for students.
Noting that private coaching centers are proliferating in Delhi, Yogesh Pal Singh, assistant director of DoE’s private school branch, told PTI, “Students from all over India come in the city for preparation of such examination and seek admission in private coaching centers. These institutions are running a parallel education system and are still out of the ambit of any regulation and running without any statutory compliances leading to serious hazards for students.”
“It has also come to the notice of the government about some events of cheating and fraud on the part of some private coaching centers which remain unattended due to lack of regulation in this field. The government is very much concerned to safeguard the interest of such students already enrolled or desirous to enroll in such coaching institutes in Delhi,” added Singh.
In February 2020, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) categorized coaching centers with more than 20 students as educational buildings in building bylaws in response to a 2019 fire at a Gujarat-based coaching center that claimed 22 students’ lives.
Related on The Swaddle:
Delhi’s regulation of the private coaching industry is nascent, but could set a national precedent and make headway against the problem of student suicides in such centers. In October 2017, 50 students died by suicide within two months in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — two states famous for their “pressure-cooker like coaching institutes,” according to the Hindustan Times. In Kota, Rajasthan — famous for both its coaching centers and its reputation as a ‘suicide city’ — 77 students died by suicide between 2013 and 2018. An IndiaSpend report states that 40,000 students died by suicide from 2011-2015 — the equivalent of one student dying by suicide each hour during those years. A Lancet report states that Indians aged 15-29 have one of the world’s highest suicide rates
Heavily selective entrance exams, the pressure of parental aspirations, and poor performance on practice tests can foster feelings of failure in students, according to reports on Kota from IndiaSpend and the Huffington Post. Most coaching centers foster environments of pressure and anxiety, which may further harm students’ mental health.
As of now, the DoE is collecting data as part of its first steps to frame a policy that would standardize the local coaching industry. “Due to the absence of any regulating policy, there is no data available on the number of coaching centers operating in Delhi. The DoE will now collect the data of such institutes and details of their infrastructure, land area, basic facilities, fee structure, [and] safety standards,” Singh told The Hindustan Times.