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Impact of coaching classes on a nation’s psyche

November 30, 2007

We all know how critical our parallel education system – the coaching class industry – is. It supports our over-loaded, creaking, education system. The industry is booming and estimated to be about Rs 5,000 crore (and growing annually at 20 percent)!

The problems
The problem is that there is no research available to know exactly the impact of coaching classes on the student’s academic performance, or the psychological, intellectual and physical repercussions. This is not counting the financial burden on families. But a lot of people have written about the physical and mental strain the classes put on the students and also how some classes dupe not just the students but also the institutions they prepare their students for – by getting their hands on question papers through dubious means. Often “insider information” gives a coaching class that extra edge.

I am not blaming the coaching classes for this because they are simply filling a desperate need. I am blaming the rote learning that is required by our examination system – that is what enables these classes to spoon-feed students and teach them ‘tricks’ to beat exams. These places don’t teach, they make you solve paper after exam paper and provide tips to score well. Forget about real knowledge or even developing any mental abilities (besides memory) – it’s the marks that count. As Rashmi Bansal says:

…the same folks who would have topped school leaving exams without coaching are now topping with the help of coaching. The extra slog has probably resulted in a few more marks, unnecessarily raising the bar that much higher.

High cost of education
Education in India may be subsidized and cheap as compared to that in developed countries…but if you add the cost of coaching it gets formidable for Indian pockets. Even though new coaching classes are springing up in every gully, they cost. A coaching class for the 10th grade in a slum near my house charges about Rs 250/- a month and that too for packing a hundred students in a cramped, airless class, and these fees are exorbitant for someone with an income of Rs 4000/- a month and four kids to educate. At least if the classes delivered the goods it wouldn’t be so bad…but mostly they don’t. The higher grade coaching classes which charge anything from Rs 50,000 onwards (AC classrooms, trained teachers) are not available to everyone. Often they do deliver the goods. But at what cost? Students who want to enter medical college have it really bad as the competition is cut-throat and in the two years running up to admission they have to sacrifice every extra-curricular activity.

But if our government is finding it tough monitoring our schools, what can we expect when it comes to monitoring the coaching class industry?

And if we see so many instances of corporal punishment in regular schools, one can imagine the plight of students in coaching classes. There was this incident where a teenager was so afraid of facing punishment for not finishing the homework given in her tuition class that she called her school to say a bomb had been planted on the premises so that the school would declare a holiday!

Some good news?
So that is why it was good to read that the Maharashtra Coaching Class Association (MCOA) is starting an 8-month training course for coaching class teachers, the intention to “bring everyone to a uniform level.” The course will be based on the B Ed course (a teachers training course). It’s amazing that unqualified people fill the ranks of many coaching classes! Not that this will help students to really learn better…but they will at least get what they pay for.

Some school systems do away with the need for coaching classes
International syllabi like the IB reduce or do away with the need for coaching classes. More and more schools in India are starting to teach this international syllabus, like the well-known Cathedral school, which is planning to drop the ICSC syllabus entirely. In fact international schools are fairly common now in metros – there are 37 IB schools and nearly 200 schools that offer the Cambridge qualifications in India today. Five years ago there were only a handful of such schools.

True, these schools only cater to the rich, but if the poor are not getting a good education it doesn’t mean that the rich shouldn’t. It is unrealistic to expect private industry to take responsibility for the needs of the poor, although they can help.

But the government plans to throttle International schools
What is shocking that in the name of ‘regulation’ the government is planning to throttle these schools! Everything from no-objection certificates, student quotas for Indians to a banning of foreign principals is in the offing!

A case of skewed priorities. The government should get it’s own act together first, whether it is overhauling the education system or regulating coaching classes, and leave these international schools alone!

Update 10th May 2008: There is some hope however as the government’s plans to strangulate the international IB curriculum has run into some problems. I found out that the reasons for wanting to regulate international schools is because the government wants the schools to imbibe ‘Indian culture’ !! Supposedly a “standing committee” in the ministry would give the stamp of approval and even existing schools would have to comply or shut down! But this is what I read today:

…the Prime Minister’s Office, or PMO, asking the ministry of human resource development, or HRD, to consult the Planning Commission before asking the cabinet to consider its proposal

From the same article I got additional information, about the growth of International schools. They have grown from”15 in 1998 to about 180 in 2006.” IB schools have grown from just 2 in 1998 to 33 in 2006. The Cambridge International Examination schools were known to be numbering 148 in 2006.

Well, if the government (which has been inept in providing quality education to its citizens) tries to imbibe these schools with “Indian culture” we know what will happen. They will force the schools to withdraw! Some poor quality schools which don’t care about the interference will stay on. I wonder why the government doesn’t spend its energy on building good schools instead of killing the ones that are already present!

(First photo is by me and the second one, of an international school at Bangalore, is from the wiki)

Related Reading: Foreign universities setting up in India have more rules to follow
India has top 3 universities in the world’s top 200

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2007 11:54 am

    You have brought out many interesting perspectives.

    I’d like to comment on shifting to international syllabus and schools offering “Cambridge qualifications”. Although I dont entirely understand what this syllabus is, it seems like it is another facet of our fad for foreign things. I studied in CBSE syllabus. And it was wonderful. It has now been made more hands on for students and more stimulating. Even grading system has been modified to put emphasis on education through years rather than on a day’s exam.

    So if private institutions prefer to move to a foreign syllabus, it seems like they want to cash in on the foreign branding. Many Indians do not know that foreign syllabi are too loose in the name of freedom and stimulation. In the long run, students end up graduating without knowing the basics. So it makes me very skeptical about emulating their syllabus and “dropping ICSC syllabus entirely”.

  2. November 30, 2007 12:05 pm

    @anand:

    That is certainly a very good point. One needs to evaluate what we are getting out of many of these foreign degrees and certainly not all of it can be good. And ofcourse the schools are trying to cash in on the new trend, but then it shows that people do want the foreign education, that there is a huge demand.
    But talking of CBSC, I know students who are studying it in my neighborhood and they complain a lot! Our school leaving courses (10th grade) are very tough and do teach us a lot…but we have to see whether it is necessary at that age, and whether all this should be taught at the 12th grade level, not the 10th.
    It’s a very difficult thing to answer and evaluate actually, but my belief is that students in India are learning too much too early. And the method is based a lot more on rote learning than say the IB syllabus although I hear that the Cambridge education is similar to India’s although less taxing.

  3. November 30, 2007 12:27 pm

    Schools and Colleges must improve their teaching methods to avoid additional coaching classes.
    Further the students are also not safe in these coaching centers. Mumbai Mirror dated 25 November reports of a 17 year female student raped by the owner of Padma Coaching Classes of Ulhasnagar.

  4. November 30, 2007 12:46 pm

    Nita: The Cambridge qualification system has 4 levels and several certifications aimed at various age groups and learning stages. The IB system uses 3 levels. Both these systems are gaining popularity in the UK over the state’s GCSE and A-levels system mainly because they prepare students better – not just for University education, which is not an automatic next step for people in the UK unlike in India where it is an expectation, but also for broader vocational pursuits.

    There is a lot of emphasis in both systems on reflection, discussion, argument and logic, and communication. None of these skills allows rote to be a tool of choice. Nor are they simply exam-centric because in such a subjective environment, it is harder to game the system to win with desirable grades.

    The IB qualification is also highly transportable globally, and if parents are global executives, they would prefer to school their child in a system which offers such possibility.

    So I am afraid, calling them ‘foreign degrees’ kind of misses the point. The point is to prepare a child for his or her future, keeping in mind the specifics of his or her life circumstances.

    The problem with education in India is at the grass-roots level. It is also not very different in India from what it is in the UK. Teaching in both countries is a poorly paid profession and naturally does not attract the best.

    In India, beyond a B. Ed. etc there is no system of licensure or renewal of such licence to teach. Mediocre to poor teachers naturally will take the safest path ahead – helping children pass exams, without paying much attention to their future.

    Even when I was at school, my advantage for instance came from my home atmosphere where questions, enquiry, curiosity and research were encouraged. These were not necessarily virtues in my school (the first 6 years of schooling, I was in a prep school which was highly unusual and shared and developed the values we had at home; that gave me a great advantage further in life and I wrote about it once, obliquely:
    india workforce in progress

    I also think introducing/ allowing a market-driven system at primary school level is a mistake. It already costs India dear socially and will also cost greatly in economic terms soon. If basic skills are lacking where is the pipeline for training tomorrow’s engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers and researchers?

    All in all, India’s basic education system is due for an overhaul. If IB and CIE are the way forward, so be it. CBSE is a great board with a solid curriculum, which is much broader than ICSE’s, but in the end it is largely down to the teachers and what they encourage or discourage in the class.

    Thanks.

  5. November 30, 2007 12:53 pm

    In my community in British Columbia, Canada, extra-curricular coaching is offered by Sylvan Learning Centres and Kumon Math, at cost to families using the service. Private tutoring services are also available from individuals with teaching credentials living in the community, from university students wishing to augment their living and tuition budgets. As far as I know, these services exist for remedial learning, and not to prepare students for particular examinations.
    Mainly two private schools offer IB certified education, here. The only publicly funded high-school in our town which offers IB program, has been vetted to begin offering this to older teen-agers starting in 2008. The main difference between what is possible in either type of high school is that Private school populations are limited to students who are capable of meeting strict academic entrance requirements, as well as costly fees, while the public schools effectively must admit all students at all capacities, and teach to the common denominator. This means that by nature of differing student populations, by no means are educational opportunities equivalent, and standards expected of students in private schools are perforce, higher. This seems to be common over the rest of the world although i might argue that public education standards may be higher here in Canada than in India, but nowhere near as demanding and stringent as the education system in Japan. G

  6. November 30, 2007 2:20 pm

    Old Sailor, I agree that many of these coaching classes are dubious and I am not all surprised that molestation and rape incidents happen.

    Shefaly, thanks for that very informative comment. I agree, one should not think of things as ‘foreign’ or ‘Indian,’ not in today’s modern, globalized world. We need to see how useful these things are.

    Suburbanlife, that is what tuition classes should be for – remedial measures. That was how it was once here, but no longer. One of the reasons is the increasing competition (too few good schools for an exploding population) and also because quite a few of the schools are not good enough…it’s a vicious circle.
    About Japan, well, the education system here is as stringent as Japan’s! In fact similarities have been drawn…you will be surprised to see what you get to learn in our CBSE syllabus (10th grade) and the level of maths is something that students in the US would only learn in college. true, teaching methods leave much to be desired…
    and the problem is that only a certain section of the population here can cope with the education system (partly because of the difficult, humongous, exacting syllabus and partly because of poor schools for the majority, the latter being the failure of the state ) and this is what has resulted in so much illiteracy. Instead of revising the syllabus and improving teaching methods, our government turns a blind eye when teachers ‘pass’ students who are not up to the mark, but these students cannot make it beyond 8th. And even fewer manage to clear the 10th grade.

    • December 28, 2013 2:44 am

      Every year thousands of children are molested by their teachers all over the world. These cases are not reported because the children are too afraid to report on their alleged molesters. Child molestation by tutors or teachers serious problem. Most coaching classes and tutoring schools like Kumon, Abacus Math are dangerous places for children. The owners are usually franchisees who have no teaching credentials and are out to make fast money at the cost of stressed out parents. Parents on the other hand are all too willing to put their children in Kumon type tution classes on to realize later about the dangers lurking. Google search the term “kumon molestation” to find child molestations cases. Old Sailor, I agree that many of these Kumon type tution classes are dubious where molestation and rape incidents of innocent children happen.

  7. November 30, 2007 3:47 pm

    Nita, I agree that Indian syllabus is exacting.

    In India, CBSE syllabus is continually revised by NCERT (an autonomous org), which does enormous research in what students can cope with. Experimentation, understanding natural and man-made surroundings have always been a part of the syllabus. If rote has played a role, it is not because of the syllabus but due to teachers, parents and the infrastructure.

    And not to mention the child. A bright child is able to make the most of his surroundings. The onus is not completely on the teaching environment. The child’s discipline also plays a role. You can’t make a horse drink water, only take it to the river. But, of course, dealing with a child is complicated.

    There are wayy too many variables here. Govt. is only an easy target. Methinks.

  8. ulag permalink
    November 30, 2007 4:35 pm

    In this issue i think theres a need to look at whats happening in rural India. The teachers in the govt schools are never present in school. They run a side business during the day and have tuitions for their own class students in the evening. It is very obvious that in such a scenario there is no interest on the part of the teacher to really imbibe knowledge in the students, instead profit is the only motive. So they eventually get money from their business, tuitions and the salary they draw from the government as govt school teachers. There have been suggestions to devolve the task of assigning teachers and their salaries to the panchayats(thereby the panchayats at the grass roots level would know if the teachers conduct the classes at school or not and would decide if that teacher should be paid their salary.), a move which was heavily opposed by local politicians in fear of the strong teacher unions that they bank on.
    It really doesnt matter that much if an urban student is in the CBSE or IB curriculum because both will help the student in their own unique ways. The real danger of these tuitions lie in the rural areas where the quality of education would deteriorate if such a situation is allowed to continue.

  9. November 30, 2007 4:42 pm

    @ Anand:

    “Govt. is only an easy target.”

    Of course, a bright child manages better than a not-so-bright child. A bright child from a family that can afford additional support – whether it be Encyclopedia Britannica or extra tuition or prep school fees – can do better than a bright child without those extras. But those are still individual choices and preferences.

    In the mix – the child, the family environment, the outside-school opportunities and the teaching community – only one thing that can really be regulated for uniformity and minimum standards _is_ the government’s prescriptions.

    It is not an easy target; it is the only target that can be discussed in a policy-oriented framing of the issue.

    Besides if one has to address issues like equal opportunity, then the government has to step in. Standards only matter to the extent that they are enforced uniformly and mean something to the ‘customer’ whether parents, teachers, higher education institutions or future employers. What say?

    Thanks.

  10. November 30, 2007 5:02 pm

    as a student i know what is happening…i did pretty well in my 10th boards without these coaching classes…and thankfully for me my parents are against it….I took comp science but now i have changed to the commerce stream,for the very reason you mention,it is too much of a burden and i couldn’t fit everything in-my violin,studies and other stuff….now it is easier in commerce for the work load is less….

    but what is important is,we should have a system where education is given not some mug and vomit…and the saddest part,sports and exercise have to take a back seat….

  11. November 30, 2007 7:53 pm

    Shefaly,

    My comments were restricted to the syllabus aspect. To that extent, I think Govt. has done a reasonable job revising syllabus and keeping in mind importance of motivating students. Syllabus is oriented towards a good understanding of sciences and not towards rote (won’t you agree Vishesh?). And a disciplined student can do well without coaching centres and by using just the texts. This has been my experience, but I am willing to hear arguments against the present Secondary School syllabus.

    In other aspects, I agree with you. Govt. has a significant role, which it is bungling up big time. Ulag’s comment above says it all.

  12. November 30, 2007 8:55 pm

    Anand: Thanks.

    I do think that the government has an equal role in training, certification and licensing of teachers where it has not done such a stellar job.

    I schooled in the CBSE board whereas some of my siblings did ICSE. Without being disparaging about them, it is evident that the former lays a better foundation in Maths and Science (I cannot say about other bits because I did not study them).

    As an aside: Vishesh’s comment about workload and its manageability reminds me of an older post of Nita where we had much argument about prejudices held against students of Science and Humanities. I do not know if you had read it but here is the link anyway:
    https://nitawriter.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/science-vs-humanities/

    Thanks.

  13. December 1, 2007 2:00 am

    make a list of all private higher education colleges
    make another of who established them and who runs them

    guess again – who will turn up in that list?

    people always want to protect their business interests
    don’t they?

    also make a list of politicians preaching anti english pro regional language medium of education
    chk which schools their children go to?

    on coachin classes when ther is demand there is supply
    when i was in college u could get coaching a specific subject say math or accounts or eco but now its a bundle scheme and it is quite a packet

  14. December 1, 2007 7:58 am

    Anand, I am not aware of the details of the CBSC syllabus (I did my ICSC) but I am sure it’s revised regularly as you say. Even the ICSC is to my knowledge. But what is the result of it all? Maybe you are right and the rote learning is due to the teaching methods and not the syllabus but I think the syllabus also is responsible. For example a very heavy syllabus becomes difficult to ‘teach’ mainly because of lack of time, and this is one of the reasons for rote learning. Also most important, it is also the way the questions are structured, this also goes to help the rote learner.

    Ulag,
    what you said is absolutely correct! teachers neglect their own jobs but take tuitions but the government is looking the other way! Some of these teachers I hear also participate in government ‘health’ and ‘election’ drives for which they are paid extra but they also take the teachers salary. They are absent from school for weeks at a time! This happens also in cities.

    Vishesh, Prax,
    thanks. Looks like we will need an overhaul our politicians before we get any change in the education system…though today I read some good news in the papers. In Maharashtra the govt. is planning to teach maths and science in english to students..I think that’s a big step. Students from vernacular schools and backgrounds find college extremely difficult because of their lack of skill in English.

  15. December 1, 2007 9:56 am

    Hi
    Interesting post….
    there is one other aspect to this whole thing …. and that is parental pressure…. Parents are insane about their kids doing well…

    On the Foreign schools in India…
    a) Quotas – can you imagine a situation where a school is set up in the UK or the US, and you exclude locals. Most elite schools there also have a system of x% for students from ‘humble’ back grounds – and these are the kinds of sops the school offers the state in order to get the benefits associated with ‘educational institute’ status. And these are a lot of tax waivers…………
    b) Schools have to follow certain basic regulations because they are dealing with children… If something went wrong the government is held to be responsible by the parents. Also, not all private schools are the IB types … we have one in our neighbourhood, which has barely competent teachers. But, it is in demand because it is an english medium school….
    c) on the NOC – most schools set up in residential areas. this ends up with a) tremendous sound pollution – 800 kids at key points of time, b) a tremendous amount of human & vehicular congestion etc…. We live in a system that is fairly vocal , you have to have a NOC — because other people inhabit the area……

    When our businesses go abroad, they follow the law of the land…. including starting ground up in terms of building relations with the community. I guess, if foreign business want to set shop in India, they have to do much the same…..

    I am all for choice for the parent and the student as far as schools and their curricula are concerned, but the system will be abrogating its responsibility if institutions were arbidly allowed to set up shop, operate and award diplomas. For every top notch institute that wants to set up shop in India, there is possibly atleast one that is not all above board…. what happens if students enrol in an institute which is not even recognised in its country of origin. Who is held responsible for the f***ed up life of the student…..
    I think that while the System needs to move faster in terms of allowing schools to set up….it can’t do away with regulations…. .otherwise it will end up facing a whole bunch of irate parents and their sobbing children … at their doorstep !

  16. December 1, 2007 10:48 am

    @harini:
    Thanks for all the points you have raised, very helpful and good add-ons to the post. and I completely agree, some of these so-called ‘international’ schools are just shams and they need to be closed down.
    The international schools here though do not exclude locals, although some (small percentage) of the schools have a majority of non-Indian kids, many of them of Indian origin.
    You are ofcourse bang on about parents in India pressurizing their kids to an unbelievable degree. More so boys than girls I think.
    Not only are they pressurized to get more marks and excel, they are also pressurized into professions they do not like. This latter is a very sad aspect of parental behavior – in fact I have written about Parents taking over the career counselor’s role on this blog.
    Unless one is in a profession that one feels comfortable in, one cannot excel either!
    Hopefully,with the opening of the economy, and more ‘lucrative’ options open to students, the parents will realise that their kids can make money and succeed even if they do not have the requisite marks and/or join certain professions like engineering. I think this trend has already started, but too it’s miniscule and limited to only a certain type of people.

  17. December 1, 2007 12:52 pm

    i believe elementary math is better taught in mother tongue
    my friend from Marathi medium has a much more solid base
    than me.

    It is the stuff like english and sicence that can be taught in english .

  18. December 1, 2007 1:36 pm

    hey, it is true about coaching classes adding burden on students and that international syllabus need not be shunned away just because it is ‘international’
    but you know what, i am in the education field and the tragedy of the international schools is that they don’t have even a handful of teachers to teach what the cambridge or IB prescribes. It is just sooo bad. One of the teachers who as asked to leave our state board school because of insufficient knowledge of english has joined an international school as an english teacher in the higher standards!!
    I don’t believe that.
    i mean imagine what must be being taught. One such parent also came to me saying we were mesmerized by the international names but it was all about ‘naam bade aur darshan chhote’
    i would happy if we had trained teachers and not just housewives-who-don’t-want-to-be-housewives-anymore!!
    the maharashtra’s system of coaching tuition teachers is a welcome move

  19. December 1, 2007 4:26 pm

    One big difference about education in India and in western countries is, that ours is a very theoretical and is not applied at all. Our schools don’t teach us applied knowledge, it’s all theoretical. Our coaching centers also teaches how to score more marks by using patterns of question, which are repeated, or by using better style of answering them in exam. They are all about scoring high marks.
    And to prove that, IIT entrance exams are totally applied, and that why people who score 30% or 40 % normally are topers in exam and rest of the crowd always complain about it being the toughest exam.
    In Western countries primary school teaching is all applied no concept of exams until level 10 and level 12. During the years every concept is well explained and made sure it is understood by students. In India its a distant thing, that’s why people who go abroad always find that our education system has a lot to catch up with this.
    Education along with others (judiciary) need a big over haul.
    We are still following what britiishers did, where as in UK they have moved on from those practices but we are still clinging on past practices.

  20. December 1, 2007 8:52 pm

    @ Vishal:

    “In Western countries primary school teaching is all applied no concept of exams until level 10 and level 12.”

    Interestingly in Britain, which you suggest has moved on to something else, there are a lot of tests and exams for school children. And they do not wait for Grade 10. There is an 11+ exam where the 11 refers to a child’s age. That is to determine which children are more academically minded and therefore can get into the best schools, and which poor sods cannot. So much for western countries’ applied education system, eh?

    What an individual gains from the education system is a complex function of the school’s environment, the syllabus, the teachers, the peer group, the family environment (including parents, who encourage enquiry and experimentation, as well as competitiveness), other supportive activities (all learning does not happen in school; which is why other hobbies and interests are important; some families encourage and can afford them, others do not and cannot), and above all, the child’s temperament.

    (This also remains true at University level. I have experienced the graduate education system in India, the US and the UK. In all 3 places, there is a considerable degree of reliance on self-motivated learning, for which a lot of preparation is required but the key role is played by the individual’s own preferences and drive.)

    That is why broad-brush remarks while tempting and easy to make are wide of the mark in most cases. For every 1000 children in India who leave school with no useful skills of literacy and numeracy, at least 10 leave with extraordinary ability. That is the nature of the game in India – by virtue of its sheer scale.

    If administrators from the UK or the US were sent to India – mind you they are used to dealing with a population base of 60M and 300M resp. – they will flounder in no time. Best practices famously do not travel well across companies, sectors, countries. And their largest challenge will be scale, combined with federated structure of the country’s governance, the huge diversity in social/ linguistic/ economic terms and complex political agendas which aim to balance capitalistic extremes with socialistic inclusion ideals.

    Sorry I am a bit tired of hearing the same comparative argument, always made narrowly, always made in a way that somehow everything about Indian education must be crap. I am a product of the Indian education system. While I acknowledge and understand there are major issues unresolved, I disagree with the suggestion that somehow the systems in western countries are vastly superior. Education globally is a sector in flux and at least comparative arguments must be framed in that context.

    Thanks.

  21. December 2, 2007 6:19 am

    It’s sad but true. Teaching to the test seems to be everywhere, now that I’ve read your article. Here it was exacerbated by Bush’s program, No Child Left Behind, which “grades” schools based on whether or not they improve their standardized test scores from year to year. If the school “fails”, the teachers can eventually lose their jobs. It has been a big mess.

    We have IB schools in some of our public schools. Students who are accepted can take a bus to attend an IB high school in a different district if theirs doesn’t have one. They are excellent programs.

  22. December 2, 2007 9:20 am

    Prax, yes even my parents told me the same thing! I think there is some truth is that…I am not sure why. But the fact is that even though it may help us learn quicker and better, the problem comes after. Many even bright people good at maths flounder in college because colleges are usually in the english medium and if these people then find it hard. english today has become a very important part of everything in India as you know!

    Minal, I have heard of these schools which are not equipped but it’s worse in the other mainstream schools. There is a shortage of teachers everywhere, but I see your point, because the International schools are taking high fees and promising a lot. But I personally had a very good experience with IB, as my elder daughter studied her IB from TISB, a school in Bangalore. A very well equipped school, with good teachers. So one needs to go to the well established schools not the new ones which have sprung up in the last year or so, which I guess applies to all edcuation. Ofcourse the majoirty of international schools are new, but one should be very careful about admitting one’s kids into brand new schools. Some of thes emay not get the iB certification, which the iB board gives after 2 years of the school running.

    vishal, you do have a point there, but we have some good things in our system too, but as Shefaly said, these good things are benefiting only the top layer of the population!

    Christine I agree with you that the IB is an excellent programme as my elder daughter went through it. The curriculum actually tests your intelligence and not your memory! I also taught briefly in an IB school in Tanzania for one year as a substitute teacher and saw for myself how things were. It was amazing, how long one particular ‘chapter’ was taught…the way it was taught, with ‘experiments’, field trips, role-playing, and even fifth grade students having to research their assignments in the library. Self help was encouraged and so was thinking and creativity. these qualities need to be encouraged from a very young age. I for one am a fan of the IB programme, but as Minal says, one has to be careful about which school.

  23. June 5, 2008 1:47 am

    Nita,

    I’m sorry I’m leaving a comment without reading your post, I will do so later.

    But as a student in IIT, I’ve been through this “Coaching Classes” experience, and this is the first post outside of my blog that speaks on the same issue as mine.

    One of the most important effects this “Coaching Class” has on you is that it makes you a dependent machine.

    You tend to rely on somebody else to teach you concepts, you learn to depend on them to keep you active and focused. You soon become nothing more than a machine controlled by them. And when it is time to face the harsh realities of nature/the world, you fail, because you’ve never learnt to work on your own.

    These coaching institutes do not focus on knowledge. Rather the focus is on the exam and how to clear it. They don’t care if you have an interest in the subject or not, they only care about how much you can score. Thus, they serve to suppress individual effort and interests, thus further degrading the low amount of value we people have for knowledge and work.

    Well, Capitalism will give people exactly what they want, and this is what people want: Buying your ways into comfort and a fake sense of satisfaction. Well, that’s the reason for increasing dissatisfaction among the youth today, and my latest blog post is exactly on that topic.

    Well, I know for one that no matter what, the spirit of knowledge will not die down. All we need is a rebellion.

  24. dhiraj permalink
    April 23, 2009 2:41 pm

    THE IB BOARD AND ITS WAYS OF TEACHING NO WAY COMPARE TO THE LOCAL CBSE SYSTEM SO THOSE WHO ARE TALKING THAT THIS CBSE SYSTEM ARE AT BEST NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE BASIC MEANING OF EDUCATION IS. SIMPLY LEARNING FACTS IS NOT EDUCATION. THE BASIC THEME OF IB EDUCATION IS TO MAKE U THINK NOT JUST MEMORIZE FACTS. A POINT WAS MADE THAT TEACHERS ARE LACKING. TRUE BUT SO IS THE CASE WITH OUR CBSE SYSTEM ALSO. EXCEPT FOR A HANDFUL OF TEACHERS WHO KNOW HOW TO TEACH MOST HAVE NO IDEA. I PUT MY SON IN A WORLD IB SCHOOL. BOY !! IS HE ENJOYING. . MOST OF THE TIME HE DOES NOT WANT TO COME BACK AND WANTS TO STAY WITH HIS TEACHERS AND IN THE SCHOOL. NOW THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE. HE HAS ENOUGH TIME TO PLAY ENJOY HIMSELF AND LEARN . ANY EDUCATION SYSTEM WHERE THERE IS LACK OF MOTIVATION AN LACK OF EAGERNESS TO LEARN EXPERIMENT SEE FOR URSELF IS DOWN THE DRAIN AND OUR CBSE SYTEM FARES NO BETTER IN THAT. WHILE THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FIT FOR ANY STUDENT IB SCORES WAY AHEAD ANYDAY. AND YES UNLESS THE GOVT DOES NOT GET OUT OF THE WAY THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS WILL CONTINUE. THEY CANNOT DO ONE THING PRPOERLY HOW THEY CAN BRING ABOUT THE MUCH NEEDED CHANGE. IN FACT WHENEVER THE GOVT INTERVENES IT SETS THE STAGE FOR NEXT PROBLEMS.AND YES IF PARENTS CAN AFFORD TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO THESE SCHOOLS WHICH ARE MUCH BETTER THAN THE LOCAL SCHOOLS I SEE NOTHING WRONG. FAILURE OF THE GOVT TO PROVIDE THE MUCH NEEDED EDUCATION HAS BEEN OVERTAKEN BY THE PRIVATE BODIES. ALL OVER THE WORLD THE PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION IS FREE WHILE HIGHER EDUCATION IS NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE. HERE THINGS ARE REVERSE WHILE BRANDS LIKE DPS ARE FLOURISHING IN THE NAME OF QUALITY EDUCATION ( EVEN THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE GIVING JUST FOLLOWING WHAT HIGHERS AUTHORITIES HAVE SET) THE HIGHER EDUCATION IS HIGHLY SUBSIDISED AND THAT IS CAUSING SERIOUS PROBLEMS. JUST LOOK AROUND AND SEE. THE LESS SAID THE BETTER. SO THAT IS WHY I OPTED OUT OF THIS RAT RACE AND SHOPPING BUSINEESS .FOR ME I SAW THE PROBLEMS THAT WHERE SO INHERENT IN OUR SYSTEM AND IT WAS SHOWING ON MY SON. REMEMBER MOST OF THIS BURDEN IN BEGINING IS FOR THE PARENTS WHO HAVE TO DO MOST OF THE WORK ………WHAT THE SCHOOL AND THE TEACHERS WERE SUPPOSED TO DO. AND LATER IT IS THE STUDENT ITSELF. CAN GO ON BUT BETTER TO STOP. UNLESS THIS SYTEM IS NOT OVERHAULED TOTALLY AND GOVT KEPT AT BAY NOTHING WILL CHANGE

Trackbacks

  1. POV » Blog Archive » Parental Pressure & Coaching Classes
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