The education department’s decision to ban colleges from offering integrated courses from June 2018 has evoked mixed reactions from experts and coaching classes.
While some lauded the move saying it would put an end to the ‘unhealthy’ nexus between colleges and coaching classes, others said compulsory attendance in colleges will add to the students’ stress. However, a few activists pointed out that the ban alone was insufficient and the decision must be backed with long-term solutions.
“Integrated courses are illegal. Why should the government wait till next year to end them?” said Narendra Bhambwani, former vice-president, Mumbai Coaching Classes Association.
However, activists have expressed apprehension whether the proposed ban and introduction of biometric attendance will stop colleges from offering such courses.
“Colleges and coaching classes will find a way to bypass the biometric system,” said Bhambwani. “The biometric device could be installed at the classes instead of the college.”
He said the government needs to find a permanent solution for this menace and suggested introduction of distance learning for Class 11 and 12, like the ones offered by the university.
Countering Bhambwani’s claim, coaching classes said the move will not affect them much but will add to students’ stress.
“Integrated courses were designed to save students’ time, but if we go back to regular courses, they will to attend classes separately,” said Chhaya Shastri, director, MT Educare Private Limited. She added that the courses were also a value addition for colleges who lacked specialised faculty.
Vinay Kumar, MD and CEO of Rao IIT Academy, said, “They should have taken the decision after consulting all the stakeholders. It is important to weed out those misusing this feature, but at the same time the decision must not affect the students.”