The phrase “Oh! Can we reschedule? I have my tuitions at that time.” is common in India. On an average, private coaching teachers earn about Rs. 70,000 monthly. But where did this entire idea of taking tuitions from someone outside the school come into being?
Over the years, India’s population has increased and so has competition. The Indian education system is based on learning things by heart. This puts pressure on students to score well and to ensure they do so, parents enroll them in extra coaching classes. The fact that many schools have a class strength of more than 40 children per classroom should also be factored in. Sometimes students aren’t able to get the personal attention they need to solve their doubts.
However, students who do not require extra help and still attend these classes feel overworked and stressed with two sources of homework and have little or no time for other activities and self-study. Having two teachers for one subject and trying to adjust to both methods of learning will end up affecting the child’s grades. And learning the same concept twice will simply be a waste of time!
Students are mostly subjected to learning within the confines of the textbook. This limits their thinking and does not allow them to show their creativity. The child has to resort to rote memorisation which weakens the child’s critical thinking. They tend to rely on the teachers for providing them with notes and lose their self- dependency.
If a child is capable of progressing academically themselves, why subject them to this extra pressure? This “trend” has unfortunately reached everywhere. People seem to think that joining these extra classes is an obligation rather than a choice. Many times the tutor isn’t even certified. Bigger coaching institutes promise good marks and charge exorbitant prices for education that can be received if the pupil pays attention in school.
The higher the grade, the higher the fees charged. Parents are subsequently forced to pay these high charges. Students are expected to score well at school, attend a good college and get a high paying job. This vicious circle continues.
Even homemakers take tuitions as a means of supporting their family financially. In fact, private coaching is actually a multi-billion dollar industry. School teachers sometimes take up private coaching along with their other job. Some even leave to start up their own classes and give their undivided attention to it.
The recent change in the National Education Policy shifts the focus now to vocational courses and competency based learning. However, private coaching can still modify and adjust itself to meet these new demands. The ongoing pandemic is proof of that. With restrictions on mobility, tutors have simply switched over to online methods of teaching. Even more classes have started to cater to the needs of students. Parents of children as young as 4-5 years have enrolled them in courses to help them learn more than what their pre schools are offering.
The industry will most probably continue to boom. Although the private coaching industry is not formally recognized, it still continues to bring in lakhs of rupees and ropes in students who actually don’t require it. Online certified courses are becoming more popular and might eventually take over. Hopefully things will take a turn with the implementation of the new NEP and students will be exposed to better methods of learning.