Chandigarh coaching centres ban: We skip school, take coaching in evening, say students

Chandigarh. On day 2 of the ban on morning classes in private coaching centres on Monday, it was business as usual with schools having reopened in the Tricity after the summer vacation. Many local students, who take coaching after 3 pm, said they planned to go to school only twice or thrice a week.

The Deputy Commissioner has issued an order banning private coaching centres from holding classes for school students from 8 am to 3 pm. But due to the double workload, a lot of students skip school in the morning to study on their own or go to coaching centres to clear their doubts. Later, they attend the coaching classes in the evening batches.

Coaching institutes have claimed that they only hold morning classes for students who have dropped a year to prepare for competitive examinations such as Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) and AIIMS, among others.

The ban will be in effect from July 1 to August 29 (60 days). Students who have already appeared in the Class 12 final exams are exempt from the ban.

Some local students said they attended school in the morning, but only on days when there was nothing “important” scheduled at the coaching institute as they did not want to miss significant topics. There were also those who have taken “dummy” admission in local schools and attend the morning batches.

A local student, who did not want to be named, said, “I have taken dummy admission in a private school in Chandigarh and take coaching classes in the morning batch.”

While some students said managing school work and coaching was not difficult, others said it was stressful to handle both. They added that coaching classes were more important than regular classes in schools and schools should have a mechanism where we can be trained for entrance tests too.

“It is a dilemma for students. The school does not prepare us for competitive exams and if I join any coaching institute, I will be left with no time for self-study,” said a girl, seeking information on various coaching institutes. 
Her father said, “I wish I had admitted her in a government school. She could have easily managed her coaching classes too. We are confused as her school is not allowing exemption from regular classes and no coaching institute provides classes for a shorter time period of an hour or two. Private tutors are our last hope.” 
Sikandar Pal, an official of Akash Institute, said the institutes did not oppose the ban, but schools lacked continuous test series that were important for cracking these exams. 
“Students have to double their hard work to excel in the cut-throat competition today. Schools don’t prepare them for the competitive exams, so coaching classes are also important for the students to crack these difficult tests,” he added. 
Chandigarh Newsline had reported on July 1 that many students from neighbouring states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Haryana, among others, were living in the city to take coaching classes. These students attend the evening batches, but do not go to school in the morning as they are all enrolled in schools in their hometowns and only return to write their final exam papers.