The menace spreads…

Of coaching centers of Jammu and Kashmir.

No one can deny the contribution of coaching centers in the field of competitive education in Jammu And Kashmir State. For the last more than two decades there is a paradigm shift in imparting specialised education to younger generation, making them very much capable for sitting in competitive exams. And this result-oriented shift being a multi-pronged and an intensive strategy is visible almost in all fields, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

For the last several years we are made to believe these institutions are under the lens of state monitoring authorities. At several occasions to demonstrate their writ the authorities not only raided and checked these centers, but at occasions harassed various institutions without any valid reason. We heard of many policies, guidelines, and other rules on paper but on ground there in nothing but exploitation of gullible aspirants and their poor guardians at the hands of some unscrupulous education sellers.  Authorities have failed, largely in isolating the exploiters, curbing them and then providing a congenial atmosphere to the genuine stake holders for imparting quality education to our younger generation. Government should devise a clear-cut policy regarding private education sector by a proper lawmaking covering this most vital sector of private education as well. Coaching centers are unlike private schools where huge investment for infrastructure, human resource is an essential; a coaching center (particularly in Kashmir) can be run from a makeshift infrastructure with part-time human-resource and shortest possible working hours and time-frame. Such position, make the coaching centers most vulnerable establishments for exploitation and money minting.There are several flaws in working of coaching classes. Lack of adequate infrastructure and genuinely qualified education specialists are the two major faults on part of most of the coaching centers. Taking entire amount of fee in advance is an unethical trade practice and is being adopted by one and all and requires to be checked. In absence of proper registration, monitoring and authentication such practice can lead to a big financial scam anytime, particularly with regard to devious centers. No student or guardian is ever being provided a time frame for completion of a particular course, putting most of the aspirants at risk of either missing their routine classes or the coaching classes due to of lack of synchronization. The most unethical part of this business is creating a syndicate of different subject teachers leaving no choice for the student but to bear the burden of least qualified and trained subject teachers along with the experts of his choice. Coaching center owners should bear in their mind, that they are service providers and are running a business that too in private sector, so in any case the clients or customers (in this case students and their guardians) are primary stake holders and  real decision makers regarding pricing, choice of quality tutors and other vital matters related to the service.

The tentacles of coaching centers have spread far and wide and at places where even government run schools are yet to be established, full-fledged coaching shops are running business with all their might. Delivering value based education at doorstep even in most remote areas in not bad but exploiting the students in the name of quality education is criminal. Selling capsule course (teaching in shortest time at higher cost) like bogus revitalization drug sellers is shameful and extreme level of exploitation. Most of such tactics are adopted by people who are in this business just to make a quick buck and wind up. Authorities as well as the stake holders in coaching trade should sit together and devise a mechanism for isolating the exploiters. Such exercise will provide an honourable opportunity for genuine players in the trade to flourish, earn a decent living with dignity and will provide an authentic platform for our future generation not only to excel but excel with flying colours.