In a recent development aimed at fostering inclusive education across the nation, the Ministry of Education has unveiled comprehensive guidelines for the regulation of coaching centers. These guidelines, meticulously crafted by the ministry, have been dispatched to States and Union Territories (UTs) for deliberation and subsequent incorporation into appropriate legal frameworks.
The newly introduced guidelines encapsulate a multitude of pivotal facets essential for the effective functioning of coaching centers. Among the key provisions outlined are the delineation of coaching centers, the delineation of conditions and requisite documentation for registration, fee-related considerations, stipulations regarding infrastructure prerequisites, and the formulation of a code of conduct for coaching centers. Emphasizing the paramount importance of mental well-being, the guidelines advocate for the integration of counselors and psychologists within coaching centers, ensuring comprehensive support for students. Notably, the guidelines discourage batch segregation and emphasize the meticulous maintenance of records to uphold accountability.
Moreover, the guidelines underscore the necessity for continuous monitoring of coaching center activities, the establishment of a robust complaint mechanism, and the imposition of penalties for non-compliance. Processes for registration cancellation and appeals are also delineated to ensure adherence to regulatory standards.
Education being a concurrent subject, the onus lies on State and UT governments to deliberate on and enact the necessary legal frameworks to facilitate the implementation of these guidelines.
The initiative aligns closely with the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), which espouses the principle of ensuring equitable access to education for all, irrespective of socio-economic backgrounds. Addressing the concerns of Socio-Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs), including females, transgender individuals, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities, and other marginalized communities, NEP 2020 endeavors to bridge the existing gaps in access, participation, and learning outcomes in school education.
Under the aegis of the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), the Samagra Shiksha scheme has been instrumental in advancing the agenda of inclusive education since its inception in 2018-19. With a core objective of bridging gender and social category gaps at all levels of school education, the scheme extends support to girls and children from disadvantaged backgrounds, including SC, ST, Minority communities, and transgender individuals. Noteworthy initiatives such as the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) have been established to ensure access to quality education for girls from marginalized groups.
Additionally, the scheme extends its coverage to Children with Special Needs (CwSN) across the country, offering tailored interventions and support mechanisms. Emphasizing inclusivity, the scheme encompasses a spectrum of interventions ranging from aids and appliances to specialized training for educators, thereby fostering an environment conducive to the holistic development of every child.
In tandem with these efforts, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has spearheaded initiatives such as the ePathshala portal and mobile app platform, offering free access to NCERT books and e-content for students, teachers, and parents. Supplementary reading materials, including audio formats and braille books, have been developed to cater to diverse learning needs.
Dr. Subhas Sarkar, Minister of State for Education, underscored the significance of these initiatives in promoting inclusive education, affirming the government’s commitment to ensuring equitable access to quality education for all.
The unveiling of these guidelines marks a significant stride towards fostering an inclusive educational landscape, wherein every child, regardless of background or circumstance, is afforded the opportunity to learn and excel.