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Updated January 18th, 2024 at 15:56 IST

Mindful Coaching: New Guidelines Prioritize Mental Well-being of Students in Coaching Centres

Emphasizing the significance of a counselling system, coaching centres are mandated to establish a mechanism for immediate intervention for distressed students.

Nandini Verma
Caoaching Centre Guidelnes
Caoaching Centre Guidelines announced | Image:PTI/File
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In a bid to address the pressing need for a legal framework and tackle the unregulated growth of private coaching centres, the Ministry of Education has introduced comprehensive guidelines that focus on the mental well-being of students.

Among the key directives, coaching centres are now prohibited from enrolling students below 16 years of age and making misleading promises or guarantees regarding ranks or marks. Additionally, tutors must hold qualifications of at least graduation, and centres are barred from hiring individuals with convictions for offences involving moral turpitude.

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Emphasizing the significance of a counselling system, coaching centres are mandated to establish a mechanism for immediate intervention to assist students in distress. The guidelines stress the importance of a counselling system that is easily accessible for students and parents, with details about psychologists and counsellors prominently displayed.

To further reinforce mental health support, tutors are encouraged to undergo training in mental health issues, fostering effective communication and sensitivity towards students' areas of improvement. The move comes against the backdrop of a surge in student suicides, particularly in coaching hub Kota in 2023, prompting a reevaluation of the coaching industry's practices.

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Beyond mental well-being, the guidelines address the financial aspects of coaching. Tuition fees for various courses are expected to be fair and reasonable, with receipts for fee charges readily available. Provisions for refunds within ten days, on a pro-rata basis, are outlined for students leaving a course midway.

To enforce adherence, the Centre has proposed penalties of up to Rs 1 lakh or cancellation of registration for coaching centres engaging in malpractices, including charging exorbitant fees that contribute to student stress and suicides.

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In a bid for proper oversight, the government has suggested the registration of new and existing coaching centres within three months of the guidelines taking effect. State governments will play a crucial role in monitoring coaching centre activities and ensuring compliance with eligibility requirements.

The guidelines underscore the collaborative effort required from State/Union Territory Governments, asserting that institutions providing +2 level education are best regulated at the regional level. The comprehensive framework aims to transform coaching centres into nurturing environments that prioritize the mental well-being of students.

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Published January 18th, 2024 at 15:56 IST

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