By Zeeshan Rasool Khan
The concept of education evolved centuries ago. With the passage of time, people realized importance of education; it is now viewed as the premise of progress, in every society and in every family. Earlier, the home was the only place of educating the children and parents were teachers. However , with increasing engagements in their daily life, there was shift in education center from homes to local religious seminaries and finally to present educational institutes -schools. But, since the last several years, we are observing another major transition with regard to education that is the mushrooming of coaching/tuition centers. Just like other necessary institutes such as banks, health care centers, consumer affairs office and so on, to have a coaching center in every locality is considered as a necessity despite having many schools. From past few years there has been dramatic increase in their numbers. The surprising thing is that these coaching centers witness a persistent flux of students. Parents escorting their wards to tuition centers have become a common sight .Their interest to get their children enrolled in these centers sets the tone. This has further encouraged the establishment of more and more centers or , in other words, their mushrooming. The lanes, previously used to be business hubs can be seen as centers of coaching. During our school days, only few coaching centers were available to us but presently, the scenario is totally different.
The intense growth of private tuition centers speaks volumes about their success. Not only in winters , but throughout the year, these centers operate as an alternative to schooling. Some people call it a trend but if we examine their role and impact we find it has become a need. From completion of the syllabus to the desire of polishing their abilities to withstand increasing competition, students rely upon them.
However, at the same time, we as conscious citizens cannot ignore the fact that growing tuition centers have an adverse impact on our schooling and education system, besides nourishing other social problems. These tuition centers discredit the very existence and importance of schools in addition to reducing the domain of education .Education is not all about cracking exams, securing marks and getting a job. The purpose of education is inculcation of values, morality in the children, their individual development and to produce harmonious and integrated personalities, which is hardly possible through these centers. Education aims to develop thinking abilities in students contrary to spoon-feeding, promoted in coaching centers. By acquiring the status of a parallel schooling system, these centers are contravening to the actual objective of education that can have repercussions in long run.
So what should be done? Should the government initiate action against them? “No” is the answer. As mentioned , both students, their parents are inclined much towards tuition/coaching centers .Parents whose wards are even studying in private school also prefer tuition for them. And, students seem to be dependent on coaching rather than schooling. Their absence from schools and attending coaching centers besides facing hindrances has an important message to convey and a serious question to pose. Are people dissatisfied with existing education system and its performance? This question is of utmost significance as far as our educational policies and schooling system is concerned and cannot be left unanswered. It exposes the faults and holes within our educational system. It raises doubts about its functioning. It indicates there is some deficit which students want to fill by joining these centers. There are many more things that demand attention, why despite having so many private and government schools, tuition centers are growing fast. What makes student to prioritize tuition centers over schools? What prompts them to pay hefty price for joining these centers despite claims of free education, qualified staff in schools and launching of super 50 free winter coaching scheme? Why the role of schools seems to have reduced to ‘conducting exams and issuance of certificates’? So, before thinking of tightening the noose around the coaching center tutors and administrators, government and other institutions responsible, need to ponder earnestly upon these points. They must address the basic problem within the system that has led the private tuition centers to flourish.
The administration must put heads together to figure out a workable solution. It needs to improve standards of education, by recruiting diligent, focused, competent teachers and by introducing modern techniques in the system that could cater all needs of a student. In point of fact, the recruiting policy of government has always been flawed. Incompetent candidates are getting place in department thus resulting into poor outcomes .Appointment of Assistant Professors is a very recent example of the flaws where candidates were appointed on an interview basis. Later, news surfaced that most of these appointees failed in PSC-screening test meant for selection of 10+2 lecturers. Can anyone explain this logic? When a candidate is ineligible for 10+2 level, how is he eligible for the highest seat of learning? It has also been found some teachers, competent enough, change their approach altogether after their recruitment in government institutes. Again, it is a challenge to the department’s accountability. Repeatedly educationists have requested for improvement in syllabus and books, provided in government schools but that has also proved far cry. It is therefore important for authorities to overhaul their educational policy.
It is also noteworthy that only the administration is not blamable for every sort of disorder. Rather, it is the responsibility of every conscious citizen to pitch in for making this system viable. Schools belong to us and education is only the way of our progress. Thus , at the grass root level, every person should take pains for the amelioration of this system. Likewise, students need to utilize abilities and capacities of teachers to resolve their educational issues and to benefit from schooling. They must take advantage of facilities provided by schools to them and the onus is on parents too, to help in revamping the educational system. Parents need to be concerned about the methods adopted in schools for teaching pupils. They should keep track of child’s performance; the manifestation of school’s functioning and must come up with suggestions for further betterment of system. To conclude, I advocate that coaching centers must operate to reinforce system of education but must not override schools and pervert education. This is possible only if and when the educational department would innovate its strategies pertaining to recruitment, accountability, curriculum framework and so son to make the system student-friendly.
—The author is a student who writes on current socio-political events. He can be reached at: [email protected]