Senior school systems reflect chaos entering into illicit teaching and transfer arrangements with private coaching institutes.
There were those yonder years when taking tuitions was for students who were unable to cope up with classroom sessions. These tuition were more of corrective and grooming sessions so that the student who was unable to cope with classroom sessions or study back home under guidance, took the support of external academicians or even the same school teacher to help them by spending extra time.
Now the home tuition system is still present in the unorganized market and fair so. The pressures of performance and peer group comparisons all the time force parents to send their children to the private tuition centers, both in the organized as well as unorganized sector.
However, a disturbing trend has been witnessed for the last couple of years, specially with private schools.
Let’s talk about classes 6th till 10th. There are many players in the organized sector who offer one to one coaching to students in these junior classes, when they are unable to cope with classroom sessions. Why they are unable to cope with classroom sessions, is because a normal classroom usually has 40+ children in a class, and at times even 60 students. Expecting a school teacher to give a fair amount of attention to each student is impractical. Hence, the teacher follows a teaching graph, usually considering the grasping power of the above average part of the class, ignoring those who are average or lack concentration in class. There are many other reasons as characteristics differ from child to child.
Educational institutions are expected to promote holistic development of students, making them good and sensitive human beings. However, today they are totally commercialised. They are more interested in catering to their own commercial needs rather than realising the basic objectives of education. Consequently, the temples of learning are eroding the moral fabric of society.
Classes 11th and onward, again tuition and coaching centers are available, who offer to teach the curriculum with more clarity and detail as compared to classroom sessions. Course material, subject time tables and content has increased tremendously over the last many years and the pressure to complete the course circumvents the ideal teaching approach. Teacher hurry to complete the course due to lack of time.
The Directorate of Matriculation of Schools, Tamil Nadu has issued a curricular to schools prohibiting them from collaborating with coaching centers and compelling students to take up uniform career choices.
Now, Classes 11th and 12th, is where the illicit form of teaching trade is happening!
Private coaching institutes are associating with private schools. Private coaching centers offer high salaries to professional and good teachers and get them on board, leaving schools with a timid choice of options. Private schools, in the hoard to make more profit, also recruit teachers at awesomely low salaries than their market value. This either demotivates the teachers or causes them to join the private coaching centers, or start home based tuition.
The Private coaching institutes make an arrangement to lend their professional teachers to the private schools and charge a nominal fee for their services. The private schools are glad to participate in this arrangement as this reduces their payroll costs and their students are coached in premises by good teachers.
Private coaching institutes charge a nominal fee for their professional staff, because these teachers coax the students directly or indirectly to join the private coaching institute for professional coaching for entrance examinations post class 12th, i.e. either Engineering, Medical or CA qualifying exams. So the market potential is lying virgin and can be exploited directly without additional cost. Per student acquisition cost for the private institute gets lower. City hoardings and paper advertisements notwithstanding.
This sort of arrangement is something about which the regulators (CBSE, RBSE, etc) cannot do anything about, if they don’t wish to.
However, what takes the cake in this sort of illicit arrangement, is when private schools tie up with private coaching institutes and permit their own enrolled students to join the private institutes and even attend classes off school premises. These students’ attendance is tweaked. Their capacity utilization increases as more students can be enrolled as certain students are studying in other centers and space is available. This is the MOCKERY of the entire education system. Here is where the regulators, i.e. CBSE, RBSE etc should interfere, if they wish to.
Use Case of the above illicit model
A child is studying in a well known government or private school – let’s say Kendriya Vidyalaya or a convent school. He or she has completed the 10th Board and has secured good marks and the parents decide that the kid should either pursue Engineering or Medicine. Now what? The parents speak to a few coaching institutes, as they don’t trust that their current school has the kind of faculty that can cater to the grueling needs of a student to perform at the competitive examination. Once they enroll, they realize that the child needs to attend classes at both school as well as the private coaching sansthaan and the timings clash. Now, this school is not into this sort of covert operation and relies on its teachers to help the students perform to the best of their abilities. Hence it does not permit leave of absence to attend classes at the coaching institutes. After school hours is fine, because such persistence and extra labor is needed to crack these examinations – but attending coaching classes while compromising with school classes is not allowed. A right approach. The student then seeks out such schools that have tie ups with the well known private coaching institutes and allow students enrolled with these coaching institutes to enroll themselves in their school. Attendance will be taken care of, and the student has to attend school just once in a while. Regulators turn a blind eye to these systems.
The nexus is complete – the senior school as an institution will disappear gradually, private coaching centers will establish their own private centers and take permissions to run schools, or continue doing what they are doing.
The academic practitioners are as much to blame as some of the unscrupulous education entrepreneurs. Will the administrators and regulators of the education and schooling system in the country come out of their self imposed slumber and work on eradicating the tear of the fabric of our country’s education system.