Bar on private coaching
THE government has at last put a bar on private coaching by teachers outside the class hours. The stricture should have come long ago. Private tuition had become a roaring business, and had reached an obnoxious level with the mushrooming of a huge number of coaching centers, mostly in the last decade, and many run by serving school teachers; and this at the expense of classroom teaching, which, naturally, was bound to suffer. Instead of doing justice to the time allotted to conducting classes at the school students were told indirectly by some teachers that those who wanted to secure good marks should seek the help of the teacher outside the school hours preferably at his or her house or the coaching centre which the teacher ran.
The government has now put a bar on private coaching with the caveat that schools can run extra classes for the extra meritorious and weaker section of the students, and that too only after class hours, for which the teachers would be remunerated.
The new government directive has several aspects that one should cogitate upon. The redeeming feature is that it has acknowledged the deleterious consequences of a very lucrative business called 'private coaching', while recognising the reality that some students do need the extra effort to get through in certain subjects while some need extra coaching to secure outstanding marks. And neither can be grudged or overlooked.
The regretful aspect is that one never heard of private coaching, much less on such a large scale. One always knew that it was the schools that attended to the extra need of their students, if there was need for it, on their own without either the students being charged for it or the teachers asking for recompense for the extra effort and time they put in.
While we are in principle against tuition as a business we appreciate that the education ministry's new guideline will help put a stop to it while attending to the extra need of the students, the weaker ones in particular. And in any case, only the affluent could afford extra coaching. But here too is the need to exercise strict oversight so that the classrooms are not neglected. At the same time one would hope that as for the government schools the remuneration to teachers would be given by the government rather than charged from the students.