Watch this video to understand the reality of coaching institutes!

The hope that a child and a parent have in their eyes about a brilliant future with a secure job, a secure and well-settled life, is what has always been en-cashed by this industry. The limitations of the Indian school syllabus are the prime reasons behind the mushrooming of so many coaching institutes all around us. What is that education which fails to impart a value system in an individual? What is that education that teaches you a bunch of formulae but deprives you of the importance of honesty and integrity? And this is where we begin.

1. Purchasing toppers – I don’t think I have to elaborate on a fact that everybody already knows about. Every year, you’ll see the same students being featured in the advertisements of multiple institutes. How is it possible that a single student’s success can be attributed to five different coaching institutes? They hide behind the veils of DLP, the distance learning programmes. Go figure!

2. Hefty charges without service – Complaints of parents and students never end, and mostly remain unresolved. Often, a huge amount of academic or non-academic confusion arises, which are not addressed even after issues being raised multiple times.

3. Poor quality of teachers – There are two types of teachers, those who teach by choice, and those who teach by chance. The institutes usually pay high salaries. The job looks very lucrative to many fresh graduates, whose sole mindset is to get into the company, earn some money, meanwhile try for other jobs. In a year or two, if they find something suitable of their choice, they leave. But a lot of them cannot, because they are mostly ineligible. This keeps them in the industry, as teachers by chance. A lot of them even belong to IITs and NITs and just because of those tags, they are infused with an inflated sense of meaningless ego, that somehow, they are better than everyone else. This is exactly the reason why there usually is a rift between the actually good educators and these buffoons. A lack of both academic as well as intellectual maturity ultimately causes the student to suffer.

4. Student discrimination – There is a practice of segregating students into different batches based on their merit, and personally, I do prefer that. Because what this system ought to do, is pull up the really weak students by giving them extra attention. What really happens is the exact opposite. Those who are already smart are given more material, more importance, more class hours, and that’s great because they will be the future representatives of the institute because of their guaranteed results. But the poor ones, are not only given less attention by usually being assigned the poorer teachers, but also often constantly being reminded of their ‘place’, which creates unnecessary insecurities in the young minds. This discrimination is tremendously unhealthy.

5. Impractical pedagogy – A student in the eleventh standard struggles with the existing school syllabus already, and without explaining the absolute basics from grassroot level, these institutes have prepared an impractical lecture plan. I assure you, 100% of the institutes do this. There is a conflict that arises within the first two months, between school and coaching, and that causes a lot of students to either drop out, wrongly presuming that they are incapable of cracking JEE or NEET, or continue with a broken confidence. They fail to build up basic knowledge because of this incorrect content delivery system.

6. Shortcut tips and tricks – The most harmful way of teaching is to create an atmosphere of rote memorization, and that’s exactly what a lot of these institute teachers do. Without getting into the details of an event, the explanation or what we rigorously call the proof of a theorem, only results are discussed, with their applications being shown. It destroys the habit of learning, the habit of understanding, and ultimately creates clumsy and dishonest engineers and doctors.

7. Lack of proper teacher training – Why do these teaching methods go unchecked? Because there is no proper policy to train new teachers. Once you get in, you’re on your own. In the name of training, what they do is make you sit for useless tests, and judge you based on those scores, without actually teaching how to teach effectively. It makes sense, because who will be the trainer? They are all part of the same herd. And the good teachers are either secluded, or they eventually walk out and create something of their own.

8. Preference to the management friendly – Are there absolutely no good teachers in the existing industry? There are innumerable excellent coaches, who if provided with the right resources, can create magic. And they have. There are people I know personally, who are excellent professors. But the good ones are usually not very management friendly, because they prefer to stay within their domain of pure academics and not indulge into meaningless office politics. That way, as I said, they either get secluded, or they choose to leave and start teaching independently, which is an immensely productive thing to do. The bootlickers, on the other hand, the spineless ones, their buttering eventually lands them into apparently vital positions in the institutes. But now you know what to think of most of those post holders.

9. Rampant rebuke culture – As teachers, our job is not only to teach our subjects, but also to impart positive vibes in a student. There should be an incredible aura of motivating energy around us that should be contagious. JEE preparation is an interesting journey, it’s exciting because there is so much to learn! There are so many new problems that could be looked at with innovative approaches. The entire process is supposed to be beautiful. But sadly, the concept of JEE in India has become very toxic over the years, and I blame the teachers and the parents for this. The young minds are often made to believe that if you are not an engineer or a doctor, you are a failure. This thought process is wrong on so many levels. If my dream were to be an engineer, and I couldn’t make it, I have no right to impose that decision upon my child. I cannot destroy my child’s mental peace because of my frustrations and lack of achievements. This is what a lot of these teachers are practicing constantly. There is an intangible scale used to measure excellence, and any student who fails to reach a certain level, is rebuked and disrespected and his or her confidence is absolutely broken. The suicides that we hear about in Kota and other places because of JEE pressure, are not really because of academic pressure, but because of the loneliness that we have collectively induced into the average aspirant’s mind. It is okay to be average. Teachers need to repeat this with me, and say it in their classes. It is okay to be average. We will grow. We will learn. We will take time, yes. We might not be able to solve every problem at the end of two years. But we will reach somewhere. And if we cannot, there are many other fields to choose from. JEE or medical, they are mere destinations, not final destinations.

10. Unhealthy feedback response – It is not possible to satisfy 100% of students in a class, 100% of the days. There are various practical reasons behind this. There are efficient ways to make teaching an interesting process and maximize the satisfaction level of students, and I’ll make videos on that, based on my experiences. But you can only do so much. What these institutes often do, is create some feedback forms to be filled up by the students based on how they liked a teacher’s class. I really appreciate that system. It actually puts everything in perspective about how a teacher is doing in class. Those feedback percentages are supposed to be eye-openers for poor performers, and senior faculty members are expected to teach them where they are going wrong, and how they could improve their performances. Instead, these percentages are often used for muscle flexing. That often backfires. Because the younger generation of teachers, who are obviously smarter, more acceptable, more dynamic, overthrow a lot of those senior teachers, remember those egoistic tagged clowns I was talking about? And now this is a burn that they cannot tolerate, thereby creating a ruckus throughout the premises, expressing their anger. Students actually do experience this kind of immaturity coming from teachers. What do you expect them to learn from this foolishness?

11. Intervention of non-academic nincompoops – I can conclude with what bothers every academician; when absolutely uneducated, uninformed, academically handicapped nincompoops interfere into academic activities. It used to be a nuisance, but now it has just become a killing joke. Somehow because of their position in the management, they believe that they are above teachers when it comes to taking important academic decisions. Let me say it to their faces, you are unimportant. Educational institutions are supposed to be run by educationists. That has got nothing to do with their qualifications but everything to do with their intentions and knowledge. One doesn’t necessarily need a college degree to become a philanthropist, or an academician, if one has done their homework right, and knows their subjects inside out. Your business policies might bring you some students, but they will stay only because of good teachers. Stay away from academic decisions and do what you do best, warm up that chair.

I am sure this article has given you a lot of food for thought. Before you decide to get yourself or your child (if you’re a parent) enrolled in any such institute, think harder about the consequences. If you are confused, don’t be. There are great teachers out there, even in all of the institutes you hear about. But the problem is, you don’t know whether your student will be able to land up in one of those great educator’s classroom or not; it’s all based on probability. Why spend all that money and take that chance? I have already given you the solution when I said, the good teachers usually walk out and start their own ventures. See, the best way to prepare for anything, is by self-learning. I’m self-taught in everything I do, I am a DIY – do it yourself kind of guy. But, JEE or medical is a bit different game especially if the student is serious. Instead of wasting your life’s earnings behind posh institutes with fancy advertisements, whose reality I just shared with you, do some research. With the new Education Policy that has come up, there is a high possibility that in a few years, there might be a common examination instead of so many different exams, to get enrolled in colleges. We don’t know the future of JEE or NEET. If that happens, because all of it is still unclear, these institutes are going to have a hard time doing business. Some of them probably will even go out of the market, which has already started happening. The others might try to revamp their structure, but with the same mindset and work culture I just explained, it is going to be difficult for them to prove themselves to be stalwarts in parallel education. In short, cram schools can never be effective educators.

Find individual teachers in your locality who are well-reputed. Talk to your friends, other students, seniors who have succeeded, they can guide you well. In fact, due to COVID, the rise of online teaching is actually washing away a lot of not so good teachers, and only the really good ones are thriving with success. Especially when you don’t have any limitation of distance, all you need is a smartphone, a pair of earphones and a stable internet connection. Go for online classes of good, experienced, individual teachers, who are going to look perfectly after your academic needs.

– The Professor

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