Coaching Institutes: A Boon or Curse in the Indian Education System?
With the entire country moving towards a brighter future as a whole, it can only be normal for parents to want their kids to have a brighter future ahead of them. Of course, in order to fabricate one’s future, one must start working with their present. A kid must start building the foundation to his future right from his early years. One of the key ingredients in augmenting this future is no doubt – a good education. Which further leads to one’s immersion into the Indian education system. One such element of our education system that one must compulsorily tread upon in recent times, are the so-called coaching institutes. Coaching Institutes, initially implemented to enhance the education system in our country, in recent times are in turn making it even worse. So, what did actually go wrong? How could institutes set up to fabricate the future of tomorrow turn into just another money producing business? Is the abolishment of such institutes the only possible option at hand? Such intricate questions cannot be answered in a simple article. Nor can such matters be solved overnight but one can surely try his best to reproach such malpractices that have somehow been normalized by the society.
Severity Begins at Home
Just like acquiring every other piece of elementary knowledge, one must go through the ordeals of life first at home. Though almost always prevalent, such insistence has become rather extensive in recent times. The poor no longer wants to stay at the bottom and wishes to have a better lifestyle while the rich wants to remain at the top forever and the pieces they use for their bid in this ladder are their very own children. Right from the get go, everyone is inclined towards educating their child in a private school instead of a govt. school. The sole reason for this nomination being the lesser number of students per class in a private school, hence resulting in more attention received by each individual child. But even then, some parents are not satisfied as on an average for a class of 60 students, there can only be 1 teacher in our country. Parents therefore are forced to look towards a private tuition institute which can provide better personal attention for their kids. This practice of private tuitions isn’t really an
issue at its core but the problem arrives when it becomes a compulsory measure instead of an additional enhancement towards one’s education. Long-term following of this practise has further led to the increment in the price of standard education in the nation, as well as the creation of a habitual pattern in students, posterior to which they become completely dependent on a personal attention based educational institute. As one can then no longer receive their required education in a regular public college, one starts looking for an institution capable of providing higher levels of education which respect to personal attention for each student. And this demand is what gave rise to the mass fabrication of coaching institutions in India.
The Influx of the Poaching Institutes
Over 10 lakh students pass their HSLC with 90% and above, about 2 lakh students in the CBSE board alone. The total number of IIT seats (2022) however, only 16000. In short, less than 1% students make the cut every year as a result of a cutthroat competition. The double agents in this cold war being the coaching institutes. Along with selling a premium education to the students, they also sell glorified dreams to the students. Dreams of IIT, NEET, UPSC, APSC, better jobs, better living conditions, etc. but just like the calibre of the students, is each and every student equidistant from these dreams? Of course not, in fact some of these dreams are not even their own, they’ve been passed on. Coaching Institutes take advantage of this very state of mind and promise for brighter futures equally to each and every student, despite the difference in their individual performances. The parents too are riled up in this and are made to believe that their kids who hardly scored 60-70% can easily crack IIT and NEET upon being enrolled in these institutions. This false sense of security is first and foremost created by the cunning marketing schemes adopted by these institutions. These schemes include getting the most popular and brilliant teacher in the market to teach at their institute. This has led to nasty poaching wars among the institutions, an example being Unacademy spending up to Rs. 100 Crore just to poach 30 teachers in Kota. Furthermore, they are willing to pay IIT graduates more than what huge corporations usually for regular desk jobs just to create a sense of relatability in the students. The obscure number of
students that eventually make it are then used as poster boys and poster girls for their marketing campaign. A prime example of this being NEET 2020 Topper AIR 1, Soyeb Aftab who scored 720/720 marks. Right after the news of his success was out, around 5-6 institutes including Allen and Akash started making claims that he was a student of their institute and even went as far as to use his photo for advertising their own institute. Aftab later denied all these claims and clarified it was Allen where he had actually done all his preparations. So are coaching institutes actually be contributing to the education of the youth or is it all a big marketing gimmick just to bag in some cash is the important question here.
Coaching Institutes: Glorified Success Stories and Buried Failures
With talented teachers at hand who each have required expertise in their specific subject matters and an infrastructure and funding to represent that expertise in the market, coaching institutes have mostly succeeded in what they had set out to do. But such a low success rate at what price? Each year lakhs of students enrol into coaching institutes after being sold the glorified dreams. These students are then made to go through an initiation test the result of which determines their future position in the institute. The students are mostly divided into 3 groups – A, B, and C with all the potential toppers being in group A and the remaining being evenly split into groups B and C. Students of group A have better facilities like AC rooms, luxurious food and 24/7 teachers’ support with them. Whereas groups B and C are mostly given ordinary rooms and low-tier teachers. All this to create a hyper competitive environment while also ensuring to improve the betters into the best while also keeping the rest attached to their dreams. This has resulted in producing a miserable number of toppers who are then used as marketing products by the institutes and a humongous number of failures who after all their effort are left with a broken heart and a few broken dreams. Unable to cope with such failure after being promised so much, few end up taking their own lives. And this number has only been growing rapidly with every successive year.
So, the question of where is the solution to all this arises. Though not completely guaranteed, we as a society can try changing a few things to make things better for the upcoming youth of the country. First of all, not every kid is supposed to chase the dream of a doctor or an engineer. So, the over glorification of the Science stream needs to be toned down. Next, even regular colleges need to step up and try to keep up with the coaching institutes in trying to provide the students with the best education facilities possible. Doing so the students won’t even need to look for coaching institutes in the first place hence solving half of the issues brought forward by it. Lastly, the parents need to realise for themselves that not every kid is Sharma Ji ka beta, almost everyone will stumble along the way, it’s a rough path after all. To keep supporting them with whatever goal they have set for themselves and not pressurising them is what parents must pursue for a healthier growth of the youth, hence resulting in a healthier growth of the future of the nation at the same time.
Polytechnic in Electrical Engineering Assam Engineering Institute