New MoE guideline: Coaching institutes cannot enroll students of age below 16 years

New MoE guideline: Coaching institutes cannot enroll students of age below 16 years

The Ministry of Education (MoE) in India has issued new guidelines to regulate coaching centres, aiming to improve student safety and learning outcomes. The move comes in response to rising concerns about student suicides, fires, and poor teaching practices in these institutions.

The new regulations establish minimum standards for coaching centres, covering aspects like qualified teachers, appropriate facilities, and ethical advertising. One of the key changes is the requirement that students must be at least 16 years old to enrol in a coaching institute. This stipulation aims to protect younger children from the potential pressure and stress associated with competitive exams.

The guidelines also mandate that coaching centres must have a registered office, qualified and trained teachers, and a well-defined curriculum. They are further prohibited from making misleading claims in their advertisements or engaging in unfair trade practices.

The MoE has stated that these guidelines are intended to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and to promote quality education in the coaching sector. The new rules are expected to come into effect soon, with state governments responsible for implementing them.

Conditions for registration:

No coaching centre shall:

• Engage tutors with qualifications lower than graduation.

• Make misleading promises or guarantees of ranks or good marks to parents/students for enrolling them in the coaching centre.

• Enroll students below 16 years of age; student enrollment should only occur after the secondary school examination.

• Publish or be involved in the publication of any misleading advertisement related to claims, directly or indirectly, regarding the quality of coaching, facilities offered, or the results obtained by the coaching centre or its students.

• Be registered if it has less than the minimum space requirement per student.

The objectives of these guidelines include:

• Establishing a framework for the registration and regulation of coaching centres.

• Defining minimum standard requirements for the operation of coaching centres.

• Safeguarding the interests of students enrolled in coaching centres.

• Encouraging coaching centres to prioritise co-curricular activities for comprehensive student development.

• Providing career guidance and psychological counseling to ensure the mental well-being of students.

It is important to note that the new guidelines have been met with mixed reactions. Some have welcomed the move, arguing that it is necessary to protect students from exploitation. Others have expressed concerns that the guidelines may be too restrictive and could stifle the growth of the coaching industry.