Srinagar, Apr 25: Following the order to close down issued by the government, private coaching centres in Kashmir are moving court to challenge the directive they find ambiguous.
After Education Minister, Mohammad Altaf Sunday ordered the closure of coaching centres providing tuitions upto class 12th for 3 months, the DSEK on Tuesday issued formal orders in this regard.
The order has said that the closure of the centres for the time period would however be subject to review after 15 days.
While they would “comply with the government order for now”, Chairman Coaching Centres Association Kashmir (CCAK), G N Var told The Kashmir Monitor that they would approach the state High Court to contend the diktat.
Having already consulted a senior advocate, Var said, “It will take us a day or two to file the case”.
With the government exempting the coaching centres offering “professional coaching”, Var said that the government needed to come clear over the categorisation.
“We will ask them what this professional coaching means,” Var said.
“We have decided that we would not make it a point of confrontation and keep it politics-neutral,” he added.
The coaching centres forced to close down as a result of the government order would “refund the students’ fee on pro rata basis,” said Var.
In a separate statement issued by the CCAK in reaction to the DSEK’s order, the association said, “Any delay in reviewing the same thereof and subsequently the loss of students’ precious time would be the sole responsibility of the Directorate”.
The statement said the class work at the centres would remain suspended till any further direction.
The CCAK in the statement has asked the parents and students to “approach the Directorate to expedite the process of reviewing”.
As per the CCAK statement, there was an “ambiguity with regards to professional coaching” which the government had exempted.
“The Order seems to suggest that professional coaching only starts after 12th Exams and is not part of an integrated course starting from 11th Class. In effect suggesting students to drop and repeat a year to prepare for the said Competitive Exams,” the statement said.
“The order also seems to suggest that our students should not prepare for exams like National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), National Standard Examination in Junior Science (NSEJS) and National and International Level Olympiads. In effect the J&K Government would thus be the only government to discourage students from excelling in national and international Level exams,” the CCAK alleged in the statement.
While the government has alleged that the coaching centres resulted in the students reporting late to their schools, the CCAK statement said that the centres, which were “adhering to the government norm of maintaining half an hour’s difference with respect to the school timing have been unnecessarily dragged into the blanket closure order”.
While the CCAK was in favour of action against the violators, the statement alleged that the registered institutions adhering to the norms “are only harassed while as no action is taken against the violators”.
The students, meanwhile, complain that their studies had taken a hit.
“It makes all the difference as our studies have been discontinued. Each day of our studies is precious. As compared to schools, proper studies take place at the centres,” Owais, a class12 student enrolled with a coaching centre in uptown here, said.
Owais said: “Professional coaching starts right from class 11th”.
Suhail, another class-12 student, echoed his views.
“Preparations for the competitive examination start right from class 11th. There is nothing like coaching for professional examinations as such. We study at the coaching centres for 11th and 12th classes only. Then we prepare for any competitive exam during the last 3 months,” said Suhail.
He said that their studies would be disrupted after the DSEK’s formal order forcing the closure of the centres.
“There are no such teachers who can teach us and complete our syllabi at the schools,” Suhail lamented.
Talking to the Kashmir Monitor, currently a class 11th student enrolled at a coaching centre said that he had “set a goal to crack MBBS examination” beforehand.
However, the government forcing the centre to close, “It has disrupted the rhythm of our studies. We cannot achieve the goals set for various competitive examinations like NEET and JEE at the government schools,” said the student.
“If we study properly in 11th and 12th classes, it helps in the competitive exams as there is less time for preparing in the tests after class 12th examinations,” he added.
Calling the coaching centres as “distractions affecting the system”, Bukhari had on Sunday reportedly denied that the ongoing student protests had guided the diktat.
However, the DSEK’s formal order reads that in a meeting chaired by the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir on April 10, the “law enforcement agencies during the meeting informed that due to frequent violation of norms/ regulations and allowing students to gather outside tuition centres, which apart from causing grave law and order problem, creates every likelihood of threat to life and security of such students and general public as well (sic)”.