With Covid cases rising, there’s no clarity on if we should continue to hold offline classes, say coaching centres in Delhi

With clear guidelines issued to schools in Delhi to discontinue all offline teaching and learning activities, owners of many coaching centres are questioning why similar directives are not being issued for them.

When the nationwide lockdown was imposed last year, coaching centres had shut down along with all other institutions, and had moved all teaching and learning activities online.

Over the course of the restrictions being relaxed and now new rules being formulated due to the rising number of Covid cases, government directives have been issued for functioning of different kinds of institutions such as schools, colleges, markets, restaurants, malls, gyms, etc. But there have been no instructions for coaching centres in Delhi, many of which are concentrated in areas such as Mukherjee Nagar, Kalu Sarai, Karol Bagh, Laxmi Nagar, Munirka and Rajinder Nagar.

On Friday, the Delhi government’s directorate of education notified that all schools should discontinue offline academic activities for students of classes IX to XII till further orders.

Owners of several coaching centres said that they want a clear set of directives for their functioning to resolve the ambiguity with regard to their status.

“This is the admission season for coaching centres and in the absence of any clear instructions for them, some centres are admitting new students while saying that they would continue with offline classes,” said Keshav Aggarwal, president of Educators Society, an umbrella organisation of over 300 coaching institutes across Delhi.

According to Aggarwal, after schools reopened, many coaching institutes had started calling in students of Class X and XII for offline sessions.

“Many coaching institutes have been issued challans for flouting Covid norms. But those challans were issued for not maintaining social distancing norms and had nothing to do with the fact that they were holding offline classes,” he said.

Sumit Varma, who conducts coaching classes for school and undergraduate students at Pusa Road, said, “There are restrictions on every activity now and we too need to follow the protocols in place. But no notification has been issued for coaching institutes. When schools re-opened for students of classes X and XII, many parents wanted coaching institutes to conduct offline classes. But now nobody knows what these institutes are supposed to do.”

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