'Coaching' is not a Gateway to Success

'Coaching' is not a Gateway to Success

Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire and schools and colleges are the workshops that act as catalysts to ignite that fire. Pedagogy is not trade and commerce, but an art and a science.

Article by: Akhtar Bohra

Education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire and schools and colleges are the workshops that act as catalysts to ignite that fire. Pedagogy is not trade and commerce, but an art and a science.

However, these days the flood of coaching classes in every nook and corner has put a question mark on the importance of temples of learning. The streets of Udaipur remind me of a stroll I took in Goa…every second shop was a Liquor Shop; here every second shop is a “Coaching Institute”.

'Coaching' is not a Gateway to Success

Even the term used with education is industry: The Education Industry.

The word ‘industry’ is related to production of goods for sale in the market or a provision of services. Do we really think that it is viable to use the term ‘Industry’ with education? Education aims at physical, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional and moral development of the students.

Nonetheless, it IS somewhat closer now to the definition of Industry, where in the present times, numerous Education (Coaching) Centers / Training Institutes are trading students with the help of their agents. Once the world saw the heinous Slave Trade and now it’s the new avatar where students are bought and sold to make money in the name of imparting knowledge.

A few decades ago tuition meant a few more learning hours for the slow learners to bring them at par with other students but now the connotations have changed totally. Now going to coaching has become a status symbol and parents feel proud saying, “My child goes to xyz coaching…” Allow me to explain – Tuition Fee makes up the biggest slice of the school fees that parents pay. Then, how come, another Tuition!!

Parents don’t realize that this is all part of a business, which starts with the onset of ‘Basant’, now-a-days known as Admission Season when all the agents gear up to catch the prey even in some unusual areas. These unusual areas of attraction are the tribal belts where uneducated parents and innocent students become an easy catch for them.

By means of a plea that their child gets personal attention, learning through latest teaching methodology using PPTs and projectors, prepared notes, question banks and better preparation for exam through mock test etc.; the parents are coaxed into agreeing for admission…but is this real education?

'Coaching' is not a Gateway to Success

The aim of education is the overall development of a personality through academic and co-curricular activities, exams being an integral part of it. Nevertheless, due to Coaching Culture this concept has been relegated to the background and students are exposed to television and internet which is adversely affecting their young mind.

A seven year old child understands Cartoons and Video Games, but is uneasy with Cricket and Football….no wonder Sachin Tendulkars records are said to remain unbeaten for ages…for, no one will play with such passion again.

These institutions are business centers and have nothing to do with the students once they are out of their class. They deal with academics without any responsibility and have nothing to do with teaching manners, discipline and ways of life that are essential for character formation.

An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life. The coaching classes ‘sell’ various tips, short cut methods and study material to crack the top exams to those who can afford their ‘modest’ fees. The students depend on these notes thus bringing an end to self study and therefore their knowledge is confined to some aspects and they lack in general knowledge.

'Coaching' is not a Gateway to Success

This is further strengthened when Infosys Chief and face of Indian IT, Narayan Murthy received a thundering applause from the audience, which comprised of former IITians, when he thanked the mushrooming coaching institutes for the deterioration of the IIT standard.

This applause indicates that the audience was in agreement to what was said though it has been disapproved by our HRD Minister who himself is somewhere responsible for curbing the competitive spirit among the students due to the introduction of CCE pattern.

However, recently he has announced to give due weightage to the score of class XII in selection to top Engineering colleges which again approves of the realization that at coaching, students are getting only short cuts to crack the entrance exams without thorough understanding of the subject. Now, students don’t want to sit in the library to prepare their own notes as the faculty is doing it for them.

'Coaching' is not a Gateway to Success

This coaching business has taken the shape of a typical mandi where the so called agents and teachers are ready to set the bargain in their favour. The commission per student is already fixed and therefore this selling and buying goes on without any problem from the month of February to August and then what starts is the transformation of these students (raw material) into stylish guys (finished goods) who have no innovation and are predominantly incapable to judge their life – where to go with it and what to do with it.

The collaborations with various schools in the name of good result is also part of commission business where both school and coaching proprietor look for their bounty without giving a minute’s thought to the future of these budding minds.

Self-study, which used to be very important is now not given a thought as students feel relaxed that they will get ready notes, so why to consult books. Starting with the Gurukul system, our education system underwent total transformation with Macaulay’s policy of English education which aimed at producing clerks. But now what we are heading towards: Generating a class of stylish, English speaking Gentry with no jobs and no morality?

Choice is yours because each one has the ability and talent to brush up oneself, rather than relying on anyone else to polish it for you. India had seen talented doctors, engineers, scientists, CAs, journalists, etc. even when there were no coaching classes – HOTMAIL is Indian and it has come through relentless self-efforts and not through Coaching Institutes; the USB chip, which we so regularly use for everything related to technology – Plug and Play is an Intel invention – done by an Indian…this too came when there was no coaching.

You must understand that one does not need fancy highbrow traditions or money to really learn. One just needs people with desire to better them. This is real education and we must aspire for that instead of following the mad race of marks or turning ourselves to money producing machine. Remember – reading a book under the light of a Lantern makes sure that your ONLY see the Book…and nothing else around it!!!

Rely on your ability – do the efforts – use your resources and see the whole world come to you!!

Inputs by Zaheer Abbas, Edited by Poonam Arora, Photo by Sayeed Ahmed

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