While many coaching classes have moved online, the number students enrolling has been drastically lower, owners claimed. “There are a few big players in our industry but most of the small and medium sized classes are struggling to make ends meet. Most of us don’t own the space and have had to pay rent even if classes aren’t functional. Additionally, with the online mode admissions are few. Many of our members have discontinued operations and moved away from education,” said Santosh Vaskar, president, Maharashtra Class Owners’ Association (MCOA).
The association’s representatives also plan to meet government and local body officials to put forth their demands. “We understand the government’s concern that coaching classes involve children and hence haven’t yet reopened. But we are willing to ensure that all standard operating procedure are in place and safety measures are followed,” said Vaskar. Along with the staff and teachers, students also donned the green arm band during classes on Thursday.
In July 2020, the coaching classes association had also demanded tax relief to help them through the lockdown. Earlier this week, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given permission to reopen coaching classes. According to the guidelines, they have to ensure all safety precautions of social distancing, sanitisation, RT-PCR tests of faculty, admin staff and non-teaching employees are conducted before they reopen. Masks, thermal scanning, sanitiser bottles at the entry point, safe distance between two benches are to be followed too.