Owners of over 8,000 coaching centers across Uttar Pradesh have asked for permission to open their centers from the end of this month following recent central government recommendations allowing partial schools to open after September 21.
Like private schools, these coaching centers are also severely affected by the restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost all of them have seen a drop in enrollment and some have remained closed since the lockdown was announced.
“We have appealed to the state government to allow us to take classes for at least class 9 and higher with reduced batch strength. That way we can feed ourselves, ”said Hemendra Kushwaha, president of the group of coaching centers.
There are more than 8,000 coaching institutes nationwide with over 1.5 million students enrolled, according to higher education officials. The majority of these students are grade 8 and above. There are more than 700 centers in Lucknow.
“We have written to Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath and several other Cabinet Ministers hoping for relief. However, we have not yet received any assurance from any of them. Many families’ livelihoods depend on coaching centers that can be destroyed if classes don’t resume soon, ”said Deepesh Singh, owner of a coaching center in Lucknow.
Some coaching centers have started online courses but received lukewarm responses.
“We enrolled almost 600 students with us last year. This time we only have 120 students taking online courses. Students and parents see no advantage in taking online coaching courses and are very reluctant to take them, ”said Pramod Srivastav, owner of another coaching center.
To date, the state government has not issued any instructions on the opening of coaching centers.