The rising demand for coaching classes has resulted in a huge jump in fees, with the ‘integrated programmes’ costing even more.
The two-year preparatory courses for medical and engineering entrance often cost lakhs of rupees, with a few coaching institutes charging more than Rs5 lakh for a two-year course that includes coaching students for Class 12 board exams and joint entrance examination advanced (JEE Adv) for IIT aspirants or All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) for medical aspirants.
The coaching centres are unapologetic about the high cost of education. “We employ some of the best teachers to train students in our classes. These teachers charge in thousands for an hour. The fees we charge are reasonable if you consider the infrastructure and maintenance expenses,” said Machindra Chate, owner of Chate classes.
Sudhanshu Sinhal of Sinhal Classes said, “They are paying this fee in order to secure an even higher paying job as a graduate from IIT.”
The students who opt for integrated programmes have to pay an additional amount. The coaching centre owners justify the extra fees by arguing they conduct additional lectures for these students. However, some claim the additional amount is used to pay kickbacks to the college.
Chate says the coaching class industry is just like any other business. “None of us is here to exploit anyone. There are different options available to students across the price range. One can choose a class based on the affordability,” he said. “JEE coaching is not a right, it’s a privilege,” said Sinhal.
The parents, while resenting the aggressive marketing tactics and seemingly exorbitant fees charged by coaching classes, are willing to pay for the tutorials.
Ayaz Ahmed Ansari, a Madanpura resident, who had enrolled his child in one of the expensive classes, said, “These classes don’t teach anything extraordinary. Also, very few students perform well in competitive exams.”
Unsatisfied with the teachers in classes, Ayaz even hired a full-time tutor for his child. “Parents go to any length to educate their children. I have seen people taking loans to pay the tuition fees. The fact is we all want a better future for our children,” he said.