Shruti Sekhsaria (ed. Shubham Khandelwal), June 10, 2012
Three years after India passed the Right to Education Act, the Cabinet has now approved a bill to give every child the right to private tuition. The bill will be tabled in the Parliament in the next session.
“The Right to Education Act alone doesn’t ensure the formation of an intellectual society,” the education minister said at a press meet. “The Right to Tuition Classes Act is designed to encourage a parallel education system.”
The proposed law makes it mandatory for parents and guardians of children above six years of age to send them to at least one private tuition class, failing which will lead to imprisonment. Corporate and commercial banks will be legally required to sanction tuition loans to support the children’s right to private tuition.
Some features of the bill:
- For the convenience of students who attend schools during the day, night tuition classes will also be made available.
- Each child must invest not more than six hours on non-academic activities such as playing, bathing, eating and sleeping. Parents will be required to restrict children’s reading and writing habits outside course curriculum.
- A child will not be able to skip tuition classes without prior approval from the tutor. Tutors will be liable to be fined if students skip classes. Schools, however, will be allowed to remain lenient in this regard.
- Schools will be required to have a separate time slot in the daily time-table for students to complete their tuition homework. If needed, school teachers should be in a position to help them out with this.
- Each classroom can accommodate a maximum of 100 students per batch. This is done so as to maintain a proper teacher-student ratio, the minister said.
Students welcomed the bill on social media. Many believe this will make schools a place meant for socialising and catching up with friends.
Rahul Burman, a class 10 student, says such a law was long due. “Even now, whenever I manage to take time out from my busy tuition schedule I prefer going to school instead of hitting the treadmill or playing outdoors,” he wrote on Facebook. “I particularly enjoy my physical education classes. Currently we all are working on building our muscles using our school bags. That’s so unconventional and cool.”
“Being a single-income family, I couldn’t afford to send my eight-year-old son to tuition classes along with a so-called reputed school,” Mr. Iyer told us. “And so, last year, we had to withdraw him from his expensive, private school and then enrolled him in the city’s premier tuition centre. But many parents can’t afford it and have to compromise with their children’s education. Now because of the loan facility no parent would have to worry about it.”