10 months on, Kota’s coaching business raring to reopen

According to the SOP, the number of students in a teaching session has been restricted to 50 per cent of total strength. Students will be checked for body temperature before being allowed to attend a class. Classrooms will have to be sanitised after every teaching session and wearing of masks will have to be ensured.

The coaching industry here is set to restart on January 18 after the Rajasthan government’s nod to reopen schools and other educational institutes, closed for almost 10 months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Home to at least 10 big coaching giants and 50 other institutes, the city has around 25,000 paying guest (PG) facilities and 3,000 hostels to cater to nearly 1.50 lakh students from across the country every year.

The institutes coach students preparing for competitive admission examinations of medical and engineering colleges.

The coaching business in Kota has an annual turnover of Rs 3,000 crore and employs at least 5 lakh people, according to those in the industry.

The Kota district administration has formed 11 teams, including health and police officials, to ensure compliance of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for COVID at the coaching institutes.

They are fully prepared for the resumption of classes in coaching institutes and schools with proper compliance of the coronavirus protocol from January 18 and have constituted 11 teams to oversee it, Kota Collector Ujjawal Rathore told PTI on Friday.

He said the teams will visit every coaching institutes to ensure compliance of the guidelines.

According to the SOP, the number of students in a teaching session has been restricted to 50 per cent of total strength. Students will be checked for body temperature before being allowed to attend a class. Classrooms will have to be sanitised after every teaching session and wearing of masks will have to be ensured.

Only one student will be allowed to stay in a hostel room and a separate isolation place will be reserved for suspected coronavirus patients in every hostel and paying guest (PG) facility.

Allen Career Institute director Naveen Maheshwari said they have created a 31-bed hospital for students where all primary health care services are available.

An ultraviolet (UV) lighting system has been installed for sanitisation of classrooms, Maheshwari said. He said UV lights equipped with sensors have been fixed in the classrooms.

The UV lights automatically switch on for sanitisation as soon as students leave the class.

Meanwhile, a cleanliness drive is underway at hostels with caretakers and managers being explained about the government guideline, said an office-bearer of a body representing hostels.

Saheel Dogra, a Class 12 student who came to Kota from Mumbai, said he was happy to be here as it was difficult to concentrate on studies during the online classes.

Back in Kota, I have resumed my flow of studies and have learnt to schedule every task, said Aditi Sharma, who hails from Punjab’s Amritsar and wants to be a scientist.

Expressing gratitude to the government for allowing the reopening of coaching institutes, Ayush Goyal of Reliable Institute said they are committed to following the government guidelines.

They are gearing up for the reopening of classes and have ensured compliance of the guidelines, said Nitin Vijay, director of Motion Education.

He claimed that his phone has been busy with inquiries on the resumption of classes.

Following the enforcement of the coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, around 50,000 students from parts of the country were sent back home through special buses and trains.

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