Are private tuitions the bane of Indian education system ?

The first time I told my parents that I needed a private tuition for maths, it gave them a miniscule shock. It was the mid-nineties and students who took private tuitions were considered dumb, unintelligent and dull who couldn’t study on their own. But it was also a time when things had started to change. There was a section of students from the rich and affluent families who made private tuitions look like a prestige point. I mean, a teacher who actually came to your home to teach you – that was extraordinary in a wicked sort of a way. Teachers were respected and feared and if someone could have the audacity to call a teacher at home and actually pay him, it was something unfathomable to the value system of the students.

Coaching culture India

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I eventually started my private tuition. The teacher did not actually come to my home but I went to a private coaching class of a sort with my whole gang of school friends. Our teacher was very intelligent, witty and rather than going against the school in his own independent path, he actually taught us parallel with the school system and filled all the gaps which were created due to whatever reasons. All of us friends were together so we actually had quite a lot of fun there.

We have come a long way since those times, when tuitions were secondary or in parallel to the school or college format. The latitude to which the business of private tuitions and coaching classes has gone in the 21st century is humungous and somewhere actually scary. Just the other day I was talking to my cousin who had just completed her 10th std exam. Before she could even enjoy her vacation of fifteen days, she was making the rounds of all the major coaching class in the city and giving their entrance exams. Getting the right coaching class was more important to her than getting the right college. I tried to calm her and explain that it’s the college which matters. But the fact is she was not convinced and even I knew the futility of my argument.

Coaching classes are here to stay today and students/parents cannot do without them. It happened slowly and steadily. No one knows when and why the focus shifted from the school and college to the coaching class, but the fact is when people realized that the classes are now becoming a necessity, they started building a huge business out of it. So much so that students have lost the confidence to succeed in the exams without the support of the coaching class. And its not their fault at all. With the level of competition we are witnessing today, its but natural that students want to do the best they can to remain in the race.

I have known many youngsters, some of them my own cousins, who have missed and bunked the college and schools to be present in the classes. In fact, I have seen parents select only those colleges who give freedom to not attend lectures/classes so that their children can attend coaching. Many parents take rented homes near the classes than the colleges. And classes take advantage of the fact that students depend on them.

And why not, coachin is a very lucrative business today. Just a little bit of thought and a little publicity can work wonders. Smart businessmen find out intelligent people who have scored well in entrance tests/exams and ask them to take classes, this way the standard of their class is already heightened. Then the next thing is find out good content writers, ask them to prepare notes/question sets/study material which will be only available to the students who take admission. Arrange a couple of programs/lectures which will have successful intelligent people to guide the students. Lastly, publicize your class on social media – you have the best formula for huge amounts of money.

I know some coaching class owners who have built fake colleges just that the students come to their classes and not worry about attending college. There are some towns like Kota in Rajasthan which are coaching class hubs where the owners are richer than the Maharajas.

But is this scary scenario really justified? Eventually it comes to the students and their little minds. Can they really take the stress which comes with excessive completion and studies? Every class has something different to offer and students who don’t have access, can feel deprived. With so much already going on their mind, it can drive them crazy. Also, the basic fabric of quality education gets ruined when it loses its integrity and becomes just a business.

Its very important that the parents of such children ensure that the students don’t lose their sense of balance and get carried away in the atmosphere of fierce competition and success. Extra coaching classes are a necessity but the level of necessity depends completely of the overall upbringing of the child and the confidence the parents show in him. The evil of the private tuitions cannot be completely eradicated, but one can also control how much it can affect the student.

If a child is bright, he will succeed no matter how many classes he has joined or how many tests he has appeared for.

At the end, it all comes to what has he learnt rather than how many marks he has achieved. Remember the one statement Aamir Khan made in 3 idiots ?

Pehle kaabil bano, kaamyaabi jhak maarke piche aayengi. !!

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