Recently, the Chinese government has announced a comprehensive and strict action on the rapidly growing educational tuition sector there. Under the new policy, private tutoring businesses will have to become non-profit companies. They will not be able to get listed on the stock market; will not be able to raise foreign capital. They will be prohibited from conducting tuition classes on weekends and holidays. Parents and students are being encouraged to complain about teachers earning extra through private tutoring. The results were out. Shares of many Chinese edtech companies listed abroad fell and lost billions. Many companies are on the verge of bankruptcy.
China is not the yardstick of policy making for India. Yet in India it has to be acknowledged that too much emphasis on tuition is a problem here too. We drive kids crazy. They pressurize them for such examinations which do not test their skills and work like a lottery of selection. This is not a new issue. Tuition classes have been around in India for decades. As a child, I myself used to go to the neighborhood aunty for tuitions, who used to help us with homework while chopping vegetables. But, now things have changed. The aunt who cut vegetables was a small undertaking. Today there are big education companies. Many are worth billions of dollars. They can reach every family in India through technology. They may soon mainstream tuition by getting institutionalized to the point where the situation becomes like the madness of Chinese tuition.
All parents will feel pressured to provide ‘extra’ help to their children. Schools will not be enough, school teachers will not be enough. Expert tutors through the app will become a necessity, not an option. Children will spend hours in tuition after school. The evenings spent playing will be a thing of the past. Sports, music, drama, art, debate, etc., who do not appear in the entrance examination or board examinations, will be removed. Parents will force children to dedicate their childhood for two extra digits. Those two points, which often decide what you will do in life. The cutoff is already 100% in Delhi University. After all, what is the difference between the abilities of 98% students and 100% students? Why are we doing this to our students? The argument does not hold that competition is good and that children will do their best through struggle. Students have become slaves to the unproductive goal of getting ‘extra marks’. There are other disadvantages to private tutoring as well. They eliminate equal opportunities or status for Indian students. Many of these tuitions are worth lakhs. How many students can afford these? If the tutor becomes better than the rest, then what is the point of our education system?
Banning educational companies is not the solution. This is absurd. At the same time it attacks the supply of tuition, does nothing to demand it. And if there is a demand, Indian parents will find some way to evade the law to raise children.
I am giving some solution for this.
- First, we need cultural change. Let the children breathe. Apart from engineering and medicine, there are also professions. If you are excellent at anything, you will reach somewhere in life.
- Second, we need good colleges. Why we could not open more prestigious universities like Delhi University? Behind this are our complicated rules. The reputed person does not want to open the college and now many suspicious people have landed in this field. Good people should be encouraged to open colleges, they should be given good land and world class institutions should be made. Remove the pressure of cut-off and entrance exams.
- Third, control the growing number of educational start-ups. Many companies are providing good services, such as preparing people for jobs, improving skills or teaching various livelihood related things. This is good. However the madness of Indian parents will eventually turn these edtech companies into tuition factories.
So this sector has to be regulated. China’s action shows that for tuition with technology. How far can the madness go?
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.
If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at email@example.com
We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge