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Sunday Special » Perspective

Posted at: Jul 31, 2016, 1:01 AM; last updated: Jul 31, 2016, 1:01 AM (IST)

The making of Mr/Ms Professional

In the foundation of our education system, there are only three ingredients that motivate all: Money. Money. Money. Coaching centres have mushroomed as parents go to any extent to arrange funds for their children’s education. Those who make it to engineering, medicine and business streams land jobs which are far less paying. The result is disastrous: cases of suicides among youngsters have gone up, family ties are under growing strain and we are ending up producing semi-skilled work force that abhors creative thinking. The Tribune takes a look at the emerging scenario

Anil Nagar has been on both sides of the fence: From an IIT aspirant who came to Delhi in 1997 from Bulandshahr in UP to running his own chain of coaching centres with 70 branches across India. “My father sold our buffaloes to give me Rs 22,000.” 

He finished Class XII from a village school in Bulandshahr (UP) and attempted the IIT entrance exam. “I could not get through. Then I decided to come to IIT Delhi to ask students how to crack the exam. I paid Rs 20,000 for a few months coaching at a centre near IIT. I got through in 1998 and joined IIT Varanasi,” says Nagar, CEO of Career Power while explaining why he set up the coaching institute for government job entrance exams. 

After working as an engineer for a few years, he set up the first Career Power institute in Noida in 2010. His coaching centre also covers government job entrance exams. “I myself taught maths for two years. The institute was an instant hit because most students of the first batch got admission in IIT,” says Nagar. All he wanted was good study material and good teachers. 

Another case:

“While I complete my MBBS from AIIMS, I will simultaneously be preparing for entrance to colleges abroad for a future career in research,” says Ira Pachori who has got admission to AIIMS in Delhi this year. “We moved to a rented accommodation in Janakpuri from Gurgaon, paying Rs 40,000 a month, to ensure that my daughter would save time on commuting between her school in Dwarka and her coaching classes in Aakash institute in Janakpuri,” says Devendra Pachori, an engineer working for Siemens in Gurgaon. Ira got full “scholarship” from Aakash institute for her medical coaching classes which would have otherwise cost Rs 2,80,000 for two years. 

“We did consider the option of a dummy school, there are at least 50 in Delhi itself, so she could focus on coaching class, but finally decided on her continuing regular school at DPS, Dwarka,” says Pachori. Aware that a career in research in India does not pay well at the initial stages, Pachori says it is better she pursues her higher education abroad after AIIMS where the facilities and salary for academic research is better.

Such is the demand for coaching centres that it has led to a mushroom growth of “dummy schools” where students enrol in class 11 to ensure they are able to appear for their class 12 Board exams without caring much for attendance. They instead attend intensive coaching classes for subjects like physics, chemistry, maths, biology and computer science and are taught according to the question pattern of competitive exams like the JEE, PMT, PET, UPSC and SSC. They clear their Board exams easily. 

“Why should there be any private schools? There should be only government, public-funded or open schools,” says Prof J S Rajput, member of the TSR Subramanian chaired panel which has submitted its recommendations for evolution of a new National Policy on Education. The panel report has recommended a unified national level exam for admission to professional courses. 

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