Srinagar, Apr 30,:
In the absence of any regulating authority, Private Coaching Centres in Kashmir Valley especially Srinagar city are out to loot parents at sweet will.
Middle-class families are finding it hard to get their wards admitted to private coaching centres.
News Agency Kashmir News Trust has been receiving a plethora of texts from parents requesting to highlight the issue and the loot that is going on in Srinagar coaching centres in the name of education.
“Asalamu Alaikum! Sir I request you to post about the hike in the fees in coaching centers in Parraypora Srinagar and others as well, as the fee has been raised abruptly from 40K to 80K and even more. And you might be knowing that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea We as members of middle-class families cannot afford such a huge amount with other expenses like hostel fees and all so. We request you to support us against this unlawful act by coaching centers. Your support can make it possible for every parent and student to make their dreams come true. Thank You,” reads one of the texts from an anxious student that KNT has received.
The craze of studying at coaching centres and the paradigm shift of the formal schooling of students have given a boost to the coaching business in Kashmir Valley.
Besides students from high and higher secondary classes, there are roughly 20,000 students who opt for private coaching for competing in NEET, JEE and other national-level exams.
The amount that is being charged from the students in the name of fee varies from coaching centre to coaching centre at Parraypora, Raj Bagh and other parts of the city. Thousands of students mostly from rural areas can be seen thronging at different coaching centres at Parraypora which of late has been called the ‘Kota of Kashmir’.
“It has become a prestige point for these coaching centres to charge as much as they can. These coaching centres attract the attention of the students through scholarships and other modes. In the absence of any regulation, they loot the parents at will,” said Muhammad Hanief who paid a hefty amount to get his daughter admitted at a coaching centre in Srinagar.
Last year, a report claimed that excluding the fee charged for the class 9th to 12th coaching, each student is charged more than Rs 50K for the three months crash course offered by different coaching centres and the amount goes beyond Rs 70K to one lakh as well.
“A poor can’t afford education in these business-oriented coaching centres. Ironically, the government that has been taking measures from time to time in regulating the functioning of these coaching centres has never bothered to take any decision about the fee structures of these coaching centres.
An official from one of the coaching centres told KNT that they offer special discounts to students from poor backgrounds. To authenticate his claim, the official provided the name and cell number of one of the parents whose son got admission at a huge discount.
When contacted, the man admitted that instead of Rs 60K he paid only Rs 35K for one year course for his 11th-grade son. He, however, said that Rs 35K is also a huge amount for him. “Exceptions are always there, I was given relaxation after the intervention of one of my friend’s friend, but the majority of the students pay Rs 60K,” he added.
“In order to provide a level playing field, it has become inevitable for the government to regulate the fee mechanism of these coaching centres for whom education is secondary and business first. We request the government to stop these coaching centres from fleecing the parents and intervene without any delay,” said parents. [KNT]