Committee forwards personal teaching class invoice to Maharashtra govt

PUNE: An expert panel has submitted the final draft of the Private Classes Regulatory Bill to the state government on Saturday. In the draft are provisions to limit the number of students in a single batch, registration of coaching classes, restriction of fee charged to students, among others. Once the draft is approved, the state government would immediately implement the rules and regulations across the state, officials said.

However, the draft has left a few parties feeling aggrieved. The (PTA) had conducted six meetings in Pune, suggesting changes to the draft. However, the expert panel did not include them in the actual rules and regulations, but attached them separately as recommendations to the draft bill.

PTA president expressed disappointment at the panel’s decision. “If the state government approves the bill without incorporating the changes suggested by us, then we shall express extreme dissatisfaction and oppose the bill,” he said, implying that they will not implement the final rules and regulations.

“The suggestions we had made were to be incorporated in the draft bill for regulation of private coaching classes,” he said, reiterating: “They should have been part of the bill and not a separate attachment.”

If the private coaching centres do refuse to follow the rules, then the action that the government can take against such institutions will be specified in the bill. “The final draft will now be tabled before the state Assembly in the next session, and after getting the approval, the bill would be sent to the governor for his signature, whereupon it till become an Act and can be implemented,” said an official with the state education department.

Among the important changes that the PTA had suggested were to bring all types of coaching centres, including classes for civic services, a separate commission to regulate coaching classes comprising non-government members and representatives of coaching class owners’ associations.

The other amendments that were suggested were the student count be raised to 150 from the 120 suggested in the draft, voluntary grading or assessment of the coaching institute, and exclusion of the government from decided the fees charged by coaching centres, which were wholly private.

The Coaching Class Regulatory Bill was drafted in 2017 by the state education department to regulate the burgeoning private tuition classes, in particular, the integrated coaching system in which colleges allow private tutors to use their campus for coaching. the bill would make it mandatory forever coaching centre to register, for which it will have to prove that it has premises authorized by the local body, parking space, separate wash rooms for girls and boys and a secure perimeter. Classes that are renewing their registrations will also have to submit proof of complete tax payments.

The draft bill was met by stiff resistance from coaching class owners, who opposed many provisions, like fee regulation.

Earlier this year, representatives of coaching classes in Maharashtra had met education minister Vinod Tawde and , head of the committee drafting the bill, and appeared confident about convincing the state government to let them decide the fees and head count per batch in the proposed Maharashtra Private Coaching Regulation Act 2018.

At the time, PTA president Bhuyar had said, “Coaching classes depend on skilled people. There cannot be any fixed fee for the skills of a doctor and similarly there cannot be a fixed fee for coaching.”

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