Coaching classes in schools: Private schools flout CBSE norms
Some private schools in the city have been flouting CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) norms which prohibit private schools affiliated to the board to provide private coaching classes to students in the school.
As per reports, many well-known schools in Guwahati have been providing coaching to students of classes XI and XII for various competitive examinations such as engineering and medical entrance examinations, either within the school premises or outside.
This is in violation of the CBSE rule which the board had introduced in 2014. In a circular issued in February 2014, CBSE had banned running of coaching classes by private institutes inside the school premises of all its affiliated schools.
The circular states that such practices lead to commercialisation of schools. The circular also states that the board does not approve holding classes of coaching institutions in school premises under the pretext of providing coaching to students for entrance examinations.
It further mentions that some schools run such programmes by terming it as an “integrated school programme” in which they teach the CBSE syllabus as well as provide help in preparing students for various competitive examinations, which misleads the guardians and students. The premises of CBSE affiliated schools should not be used for any commercial activity, it said.
Further, the notice mentions that every school must devote minimum number of periods for teaching various subjects as per the syllabus as prescribed by the board and no coaching or parallel classes should affect the school’s regular time table.
Under the pretext of providing coaching, the schools also hike the fees to a great extent, say parents.
A well-known school in the city clearly mentions in its website that they provide coaching facility for various competitive examinations under its “School Integrated Programme.” It states, “The school has experienced and renowned full-time professors to prepare the students for JEE (Mains & Advanced)/AIPMT/KVPY and International & National Olympiads.”
It further mentions, “The School Integrated Programme focuses on CBSE Board Examinations as well as the competitive examinations with equal thrust. Preparation of Board Examination syllabus and coaching for competitions under one roof saves the precious time of Senior Secondary students.”
Practice draws mixed reaction from parents
This move of private schools has drawn mixed reactions from parents. Some parents feel that the business-driven agendum of such schools has led to commercialisation of education. While on the other hand, a few guardians also feel that it becomes convenient for them and their children if the coaching is provided in the school itself.
They informed that these schools often have tie-ups with private coaching institutes which are popular for competitive coaching cases. Further, some schools which do not provide coaching in the school premises also “suggest” parents and students to take coaching from a particular private institute in the city.
“Institutes providing private coaching put pressure on the schools to tie up with them. In this process, the schools also increase their fees to include the coaching fee in the total fee charged by them as they say they are providing expertise of qualified teachers from different fields,” informed a parent, Namita Sarma.
Another parent of a class XI student studying in a prominent CBSE school in the city revealed that while the schools say that enrolling in the coaching classes offered in school is optional, a majority of the students and parents choose to opt for the classes for their convenience. He mentioned that the schools are not entirely at fault here.
“Once the children reach class XI, almost 90 per cent of the students opt for tuitions. Since schools also have to build and keep up to their reputation, they agree opt to rope in qualified teachers who have passed out from IITs to teach the students, since its difficult to get good qualified teachers here,” informed the parent, Rohit Sarawgi.
He added that parents also do not object to the integrated programme offered in schools as they feel it’s convenient for the students to receive the coaching and guidance in the school itself by qualified professionals, even if it is at a slighter higher cost than the regular school fees.
“The students then don’t have to go for separate tutorials after school hours, which also saves their time and energy,” he further said.
Blurb: “Parents also do not object to the integrated programme offered in schools as they feel it’s convenient for the students to receive the coaching and guidance in the school itself by qualified professionals, even if it is at a slighter higher cost than the regular school fees.”
Will take stock of situation: CBSE officials
While this practise has been ongoing in some private schools in the city, the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) officials at the board’s Guwahati regional office informed that they have not received any formal complaint against any private CBSE-affiliated school from Guwahati.
“If the school authorities use the school building after class hours for different purpose with different faculty members, then we have no objection. However, the faculty has to be different and the school hours should not be affected,” said KK Choudhury, director of Guwahati regional office, CBSE.
Choudhury, however, added that if the schools are providing the coaching to students during school hours, then it constitutes as violation of CBSE rules.
“If any such violation comes to our notice, we will definitely take up the matter with the affiliation branch and the affiliation branch can take action as per the affiliation bylaws,” said Choudhury.