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'Coaching classes started only because...'

Jagdish Walawalkar, president, Maharashtra Coaching Class Owners Association, speaks to Snehal Rebello.

india Updated: Jul 15, 2008 02:56 IST
Snehal Rebello

Jagdish Walawalkar, president, Maharashtra Coaching Class Owners Association

What led to the emergence of a coaching class?
Coaching classes started only because the formal education system in schools and colleges was collapsing. And it continues. The government is withdrawing its hand from education. Teachers are not just poorly paid but also hired on contractual basis, leading to poor teaching quality. So parents started depending on coaching classes.

How would one describe the coaching class industry?
Essentially, there are two kinds of players in the industry. One that caters to entrance tests for professional courses. The other players are those catering to the school and college segment. However, the latter is a much bigger industry.

So how big is the industry? How much is it growing every year?
The estimated annual turnover for Mumbai stands at Rs 500 crore. But the industry is steadily expanding. Despite rising costs and investment in infrastructure, at least 200 big and small players enter the industry every year.

What are the challenges facing the industry?
The biggest challenge is one of recognition. For instance, no college or educational institute provides coaching for professional exams like chartered accountancy or management. It's only a coaching class that trains aspirants for competitive exams. Instead of being tough on coaching classes, the government must take action on schools and colleges that are not doing their work well. The industry must be acknowledged along with the formal education system.

The state government wants to regulate coaching classes. Please comment.
The matter is in the Bombay High Court. The Association has submitted its recommendations to the appointed committee. Since the government had asked for more time to submit its recommendations, the matter will come up anytime this month.