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Action planned against AP colleges offering coaching for exams

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By Sharon Thambala

Amravati, Jan 24 (IANS) The Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) in Andhra Pradesh plans to crack the whip on colleges given BIE affiliation for intermediate courses but which have turned their campuses into coaching centres to offer to help students prepare for various competitive exams.

These colleges, as per the rules, cannot coach students for competitive examinations like Engineering Agricultural and Medical Common Entrance Test (EAMCET) or the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the absence of requisite permission and have hence taken unsuspecting students, and their parents, for a ride.

“An intermediate college has to take separate licence to coach students for EAMCET. That is the legal requirement which they have been flouting all these years. Academics are different from tutorial classes,” BIE Secretary V Ramakrishna told IANS.

According to Ramakrishna, EAMCET coaching classes are categorised as tutorial classes as per Section 32 of the Education Act and entities interested to foray into this segment must procure separate permission from the government and have their own facilities, delinked from intermediate colleges.

However, regulation of these tutorial classes does not yet fall under the purview of the BIE, which has prompted Ramakrishna to write to the government to grant such powers as well for checking the indiscriminate violation of rules.

“I am writing to the government to get such powers also. Then, I can take action on this front as well. Colleges have to register for tutorials and declare fees and other details. Nobody is doing it. Then I read that Act and I wrote to the government to give me the powers to regulate,” the BIE official said.

In a future, the tutorials’ players could be asked to upload photographs of their premises on the BIE website, declaring their fees and other important aspects.

“We want to separate academics and tutorials and regulate the coaching classes also. I have given permission to only run intermediate courses, not coaching classes; but all these years that has been happening,” Ramakrishna said, saying that the illegal goings-on will be ended.

The modus operandi followed by these colleges over the years was to filter students based on their merits and offer selective focus on each category of students.

“All the top performers are put in one room and paid the highest attention to enable them achieve top positions for colleges in EAMCET and IIT tests, which are later advertised to attract more students,” said a student of one such college.

The remaining students in above-average category also receive some coaching for competitive exams whereas those at the bottom of the pyramid are made to focus on only the two-year course.

Another illegality some of these colleges indulge in is to publicise themselves as English-medium institutions but students are seldom taught in English but only in Telugu.

Unlike school education, where B.Ed degree for teaching is mandatory, there is no such norm for junior colleges as fresh MSc graduates start off as tutors and then become lecturers.

In the past few days, officials have inspected several corporate colleges in Vijayawada and other places and promised to take a look at the credentials of the teaching staff.

“I and the Principal Secretary (Education) went to a few intermediate colleges. He put simple questions such as who is our President etc but nobody (students) could answer. We were aghast. He said ‘What is this nonsense? We have to do something’,” the BIE official said.

(Sharon Thambala can be contacted at thambalasharon@gmail.com)

–IANS

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