Coaching = Education | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Coaching = Education

Coaching classes are no more just two-hour training sessions after school and college. They have become as important an institution as school or college.

mumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2010 01:49 IST
Bhavya Dore

Coaching classes are no more just two-hour training sessions after school and college. They have become as important an institution as school or college. They have begun to branch out with a host of new services and activities beyond traditional training methods. From tying up with schools and colleges to developing video games and online tutorials, they have made further inroads into the education space.

“The idea is to evolve and to constantly stay relevant to students,” said Sudhanshu Sinhal, a director of Sinhal Classes. They have already launched e-tutorials for Non-Resident Indians, apart from a set of Facebook applications. Private tutors are no longer just involved in relaying content; they are now creating it.

“They’ve overpowered schools and colleges,” said a college principal, requesting anonymity. “This can’t change unless the government bans them.”

The proliferation of coaching classes and the lack of government regulation was precisely one of the concerns respondents voiced in an HT-Ipsos Indica Research survey. While 51 per cent felt that students relied more on coaching classes than school, 76 per cent said the government should regulate the sector. The burgeoning coaching industry is increasingly taking up a bigger part of students’ lives.

At Aakrati’s residential institute, students do yoga, have access to sports facilities, a hostel to stay in, while they prepare for the IIT entrance exam and their school exams simultaneously. “I wanted to bring the Kota concept to this city,” said RK Sharma, the director, referring to the town in Rajasthan that has become a coaching hub.

IIT coaching classes have now become so mainstream that they have tied up with schools and colleges. Teachers from both teach on alternative days, thus cutting down on the time students lose in commuting. IIT-ian’s Pace has even started two of its own junior colleges in partnership with the municipal corporation.

With coaching classes virtually becoming schools and even homes for students, has education become limited to the pursuit of exam results alone? “Schools and colleges are now neglecting their duty to a considerable extent,” said Basanti Roy, former secretary, SSC Board, Mumbai division. “With coaching, students are becoming conversant with exam-giving skills, and the focus is less on knowledge and content.”