Private Tutorial Centres
Education has got a new definition in the new millennium—get ready to earn. This rule has changed all the facets of education. Today, education is not imparted to the students for the sake of knowledge but for the sake of giving them brand names, which are so essential for their growth in their careers and lives. These brand names include a 10 + 2 course from a reputed (five-star) school, admission into a professional educational institution, a job in a multinational or educational stint abroad.
Some affluent parents are able to settle their children abroad by helping them get lucrative jobs. And how does all this happen? Simple! They push their children or wards to the limits of academic excellence. And how do they affect it? Another simple answer—they do it by getting them trained at the private coaching institutes.
Private coaching was confined only to the four major metropolises and fifty minor cities of the nation during the early sixties. Those times were not competitive. Nowadays, man has to pay through his nose even to breathe. The educational standards in the government schools were good during the sixties but these fell sharply by the mid-seventies. Therefore, the students rushed towards “public schools.” The public schools did well during the seventies as money was not the major consideration even for them (during those times).
However, the seventies saw the rise of commercialism, materialism and individualism in the West. Indians are fond of copying the Western norms and so they did. Indian educational system became Westernised. Public schools came to be known as the temples of knowledge. Government schools lost their grandeur and it was lapped up by the public schools (our reader should not assume that public schools are government schools; in fact, public schools are those schools that are operated and maintained by private societies and there is always a hidden element of profit in their operations).
The number of admissions in public schools increased; government schools lost all the gloss. But as the public schools became overcrowded, the teachers lost interest in their teaching jobs. At the same time, the syllabi of the senior classes were upgraded. The students opted for private coaching and called teachers at their homes. The school teachers happily obliged.
But this trend did not stop here. A teacher cannot teach for more than 8 hours a day. So. demand for good teachers’ spurred by requirements of competitive examinations and difficult subjects of science, math, accounts and drawing, reached new heights. Therefore, in order to meet the rising demand, some senior teachers started operating the coaching institutes for schools. This happened at the end of the eighties. When school’s education was forward to coaching centres, college education was also sent along the same route. The students were happy as they studied in groups and paid lesser than when they paid as individual students.
The teachers were happy as they earned enough in one month, which was more than double of their salaries for 6 months. The schools and colleges were also relieved of the teaching assignments. “Please come to my residence in the evening!” was the popular sentence .quoted by many a teacher. And the student would understand that the teacher would tell him the basics of mathematics or physics only if he joined his coaching classes in the evening.
Private coaching is going in full swing in all the four major metropolises and the 450 small and medium cities of this country. The teachers have earned millions through this “education wave.” Many students have got the benefit of such type of coaching. There are toppers in various disciplines who ascertain that they could make it to the highest echelons of academic excellent because they had private coaching. There are nearly 25,000 private coaching institutes and professionals.
The average teacher, in Delhi and its surrounding areas of the National Capital Region, earns Rs 6,000 to Rs 30,000 per month, besides his salary from the school, the college or the university. An average teacher charges Rs 80 for a student of class VIII, Rs 90 for a student of class IX and Rs 100 for a student of class XII, while he teaches for one hour. For higher classes, the rates vary from Rs 125 per hour per subject to Rs 300 per hour per subject. These incomes are never shown in the calculations of income tax. Hence, these are unaccounted for earnings of the coaches.
The late eighties saw an orientation of the students towards the preparation for competitive examinations. The LITs, the IIMs, engineering colleges, medical colleges as well as the courses in management, architecture and fashion technology led to a growth in the field of coaching for competitive examinations. The late eighties saw the mushrooming of these specialised institutes in New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. Other cities followed suit and today, we have good and bad institutes in all the nooks and corners of the country that prepare the students for glorious careers.
Further, many institutions also prepare the candidates for CA, ICWA, CS, GMAT, SAT, GRE and TOEFL tests and examinations. Many students have gained knowledge and qualifications. There are many successful candidates who are either studying abroad or have been placed abroad after they were trained in these institutes. These institutes train the students for fees that range from Rs 3,000 per month to Rs 1,50,000 per annum. The actual amount of fee depends upon the type of course, the level of training and the duration for which, the candidate would like to study.
We do not censure these institutions. They have been able to deliver excellent results; the examples of school-going students as well as those of collegiates give ample evidence that these institutions do give high-quality training. Many professional trainers, managers, engineers and scientists have joined these institutions and their extremely high knowledge levels are a delight for those students who learn from them.
However, there are some limitations of these institutions. All the institutions do not offer high-quality education. Let us take the example of computer training. There are many institutions that offer ‘excellent’ training in computers and IT but no one offers enough “computer laboratory time:” They want to expose the students to computers and for practice, they expect the students to have their own computer systems. The poor students cannot buy computers. So, they lose money and do not get valuable and constructive computer time.
Further, some institutions offer courses that might help the students get jobs. But most of the students do not get jobs; they get nicely printed certificates and that is all. Thirdly, some institutions charge exorbitant fees to their students. Many students are unable to afford it. On the other hand, many students, who belong to the rich strata of society, come only for gossiping or for making friends. They waste the time of others. They do not seem to be _interested in knowledge or careers. Others suffer while they relish the niceties of “mini campuses.”
Finally, many students leave their jobs or academic curricula and join these courses in the hope of getting a (fake) degree or clearing a competitive examination. They able to get through their efforts and inputs are worth appreciation. But many students are left behind. They spoil their careers and lose their jobs. They continue to struggle for the rest of their lives.
We would like to mention the case of students who go to the schools and later, in the evening, go to the coaching centres. The physical and mental demands on them are so high that they feel completely exhausted at the end of the day. Is this the real concept of education? Is education- meant for cramming and getting ‘good’ marks in the examination? What about the knowledge levels and mental development of the students? Could these be developed at the coaching centres? The answer is an emphatic No!
There are no immediate solutions for this education mania, primarily spurred by the faulty educational system and perpetrated by the intelligentsia of this country who know more than their junior generations. Gone are the days when one used to respect his teacher due to his knowledge level. Today, the teacher is ‘paid’ or ‘pampered’ because he either knows the contents of the next examination or can help the student get excellent marks in the entire set of examinations.
Morality in education is a distant dream due to the fact that the element of immorality has been added by the wrong educational system and the corrupt educationists. This decay would continue unless the State takes concrete measures and effects strict educational reforms. The pious principles of education seem to be timid before, the ever-rising wave of commercialism. Private educational institutions are having a great time now a day. And Indian education, as usual, is at its nadir. Who would reverse this trend?