Are private tuitions necessary for students?

Monument to Education

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Let me start by giving you a glimpse of the experiences I had with private tuitions, when I was a student. By private tuitions, I mean the extra coaching classes that students are sent to, for regular subjects taught at school.

I guess I was in the seventh standard when I first went to a tuition for mathematics. Well, in my locality students were sent to tuitions for scoring better marks than what they were already scoring.

The first tuition I went to, was hopeless. The instructor made everyone sit in benches and asked us to solve whatever maths problems we wanted. He made sure that his interference or our interference was least, as he did not want to be disturbed while he was reading his newspaper/magazines!

During my 8th Standard, I joined in another tuition class (again for mathematics) and this tuition teacher was quite strict. We had to solve a certain number of problems in a day and we were made to stay back till we did. The ‘effect’ started showing in my exam results and I was getting better marks.

During my 10th Standard, I went to a different class where I was made to do a lot of exercises. Just by solving various types of problems repetitively, it was easier to grasp the pattern, formulas and the subject. I did well in maths, both the years.

In my twelfth standard, I joined tuitions for three subjects – Maths, Physics and Chemistry. I did this mainly because all my friends at school had joined and I thought maybe it was not a bad idea. The issue was, I now shifted to the state board curriculum where text-book problems were repeated in the exams (for maths) and it was sheer memorization/mugging up for physics and chemistry.

As you might have guessed, the private tuitions were like a second school. Whatever happened at school was repeated at the tuitions as well. Same thing. Of course, there were double tests – once in school and once at tuitions. Though these classes helped me to get more marks, these are my observations about private tuitions:

  • Tuitions make children robotic. They just memorize stuff/get familiar with problems/ take more tests and through sheer repetition of the same thing, get more marks.
  • Tuitions add a new dimension to inefficiency. Something that should have been done at school is repeated all over again in tuitions. Double time + double money = High levels of inefficiency.
  • Tuitions are a byproduct of the pathetic state of our education system. I feel that they thrive due to it.
  • I think that tuitions are an extension of a parenting culture that force kids into submission, which results in the suppression of their creativity.
  • Tuitions increase the spoon-feeding practice, already in vogue at the various so-called ‘top’ schools.
  • Tuitions prevent any kind of self-initiative from the students side. They are always told what to do and they mechanically obey, which has disastrous consequences on the long-term.
  • Some parents send children to tuitions because there is no one to supervise them at home! Some of them send children to tuitions because they don’t want to feel guilty of neglecting their children’s tutoring at home (by parents).
  • Tuitions have become a means for higher income to certain teachers. In fact, some of them make more than what they make at schools.
  • In some schools, I heard that children are forced to join tuitions offered by the same teacher. Otherwise they risk lower marks during examinations!

In my school, it was a rule that teachers should not conduct private tuitions after school. I feel that all schools should follow this. I am not saying that tuitions are a total waste of time as some students do get more marks due to it. But they also start becoming a slave to spoon-feeding. You can imagine what will happen if this attitude continues during higher education (engineering, etc). It actually does.

Destination Infinity

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