Private detectives will soon have more than just straying spouses and missing persons to track down. Magnifying glasses and binoculars will now be trained on school and college teachers giving private tuitions, thanks to the campaign of an education non-governmental organisation, the Forum for Fairness in Education.
On Friday, Forum president Jayant Jain announced that his organisation would be setting sleuths on the trail to track down school and college teachers also taking private tuitions for students.
According to the Right To Education Act, this is illegal.
“This is a grave menace and the quality of education has gone down as a result of these coaching classes,” said Jain. “Not only that, it is completely illegal. After we identify the offenders we will give the evidence to the government and move the Bombay High Court if necessary.”
This is a sequel to a similar campaign Jain had instigated in 1998 to crack down on private tuition teachers. At the time, the noose fell around 512, against whom the Forum initiated legal action. Some were even suspended from their respective schools and colleges as a result.
Parents expressed concern over the parallel coaching class industry, but placed the blame squarely with schools.
“Schools should be forced to take responsibility rather than letting the onus shift to tuition teachers. They should make sure that the question does not even arise,” said Sanjita Prasad.
Jain is in talks with a few detective firms and says he already has compelling evidence of several offending teachers. But not everyone is convinced by the private eye approach to the problem.
“There is no excuse for taking tuitions but perhaps this is a little extreme,” said V Balasubramanian, director of NES International School at Mulund. “It would be better to counsel teachers rather than going after them like this.”