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Indian Education system: Competition, Merit and Private Tuition

January 17, 2011

Education system of any country is the most vital element of the social and economic growth. India is very lucky nation to get first Prime Minister Pt. JawaharLal Nehru, who gave special emphasis to education and build the foundation stone of premiere institutes, which later emerged as the driving force of nation’s development. He should be given credit for setting up IITs, IIMs and central universities which are now globally renowned as centres of excellence. Like many other domains of education system of India has its fallibility. There are lots of problem which needs immediate attention in the education system. One of the major problems is private tuition offered by individuals and flourishing coaching centres which is weakening the backbones of education system.

In present time, it is rare to find any student not taking private tuition. It has been found out from a survey that one third of the income of middle class family is spent on the child’s private tuition. Tuition can start from class 12, class 5 or even class 1. Private tuition can help student by giving him some extra time and necessary push for relatively not so brilliant student. Also it helps the students whose parents are uneducated and can’t give any input to their academic work. Some educated parents found private tuition helpful because it gives them necessary relief of not spending their time with their children. Also it is sometime beneficial to some students who find other school teacher better in certain subjects. Another possible reason, which may sound absurd, is that children don’t follow the parental teaching them academic course due to some psychological reason. Above all the stated reasons can be kept aside, and the most important reason that parents and students feel that private tuition and coaching is beneficial for them because it will enable them to compete in the class and securing a seat in entrance examination.

Let us analyze what are the pitfalls of private tuition and why all the above stated reasons are absurd. Most of the problem for which people think private tuition is necessary can be solved by filling the gap in the education system i.e. making school to strengthen their roles in children’s life. First of all, private tuition makes children less attentive in the class. Student feels that they will be studying the same thing in private tuition in a better way, so they lose respect for the school teachers and their teaching. Another pitfall of private tuition is that children spend less time with their family and friends. Also they don’t participate less in extracurricular activities and sports, as they need to spend their evenings attending private tuitions. Another important problem that is caused by private tuition, which impacts his/her career, is by making a bad habit of spoon feeding. Student don’t spend time in self studying and reading books, as they depend entirely on the summary notes provided by private tutor. One very important parameter that gets missed out in the child career, which often causes disaster to their career, is the loss of innovative thinking and following individual interest, as the subject to be studied in private tuition are recommended by parents considering their aspiration for their children and not the child’s aspiration for himself/herself. Coming to the system loop holes in education system, teachers often push class student for their private tuition, as it gives them extra bucks. Some teacher goes to the level of threatening the student to fail. Many give extra credit marks in the examination to private tuition going students. Some teachers go to the extent of giving question out before the examination to the private tuition. Few of teacher gives the examination paper at home in private tuition after the examination for completing their answers. Adding another angle teacher also promises to give complete marks in practical examination to tuition going student and deduct marks to non-tuition going students. All these measures taken by teachers, despite being illegal in some government schools, to lure students for private tuition for earning little money, gives small happiness to private tuition students and their parents but causes a very-very serious damage to the long term student’s career.

Coming to the coaching institutions, this provides employments and now a big industry in itself. It enables students to compete in entrance examinations of professional courses like engineering, medical, law etc. Although, institutes tries to make the entrance examination by changing patter etc such that no student taking private tuition have better chances than non-tuition going students, but private tuition is has grown to such a mass scale that 99% student get admission by taking private tuition only. It is strange and ridiculous that people who talk about reservation to Sc/St as wrong, although Sc/St spend minuscule or sometime none on private tuition compared to others, can’t do self study for examination and later talk about meritocracy. Coaching are exactly similar to private tuition, except for the fact that most of coaching institutes are registered entities and hopefully pay taxes for their earning. God can only save us if a teacher who teach small children ethical classes and build their foundation stone, earn money unethically from private tuition and evades taxes.

Let us discuss the probable solution to the whole problem. First of all school teachers should be prohibited to take private tuition, as already being done unsuccessfully to some government schools like KV, especially to their own class students. If teachers can’t teach student in class they why he is doing the job. Students should be encouraged to seek support from teachers during school time in leisure periods. This is already implemented in colleges like IITs. Serious steps should be taken against teachers who lure students for private tuition. Teacher should give extra support to the weak students during class and also after class. Teacher’s assessment should be done on the basis of class performance. Parents should be strictly advised against tuition. All the students taking entrance examination should be prohibited to attend coaching, as all the subjects are covered in school course curriculum. Although it is quite difficult to implement but an innovative way should be found to give incentive to self studying students. Parents should be encouraged to meet teacher to know the child’s academic progress. Although not liked to education system, strict tax collecting measures should be taken for private tuition money.

Private tuition is a menace to the Indian education system, which has corrupted the whole system. It has damaged the very stem of nation i.e the young students. Immediate steps must be taken to eliminate this serious problem


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