Over the weekend I was watching Star Vijay channel and on Sunday I stumbled upon an interesting debate show called “Neeya?Naana?” (You? Me?). To give you all a background on this show, its basically a debate show between two sets of people on a particular topic. This week the topic was kind of interesting as it was Tuition Teachers against School Teachers. This is an ongoing debate in India as most of the parents think that sending their kids to private tuitions is the way to go. The school teachers on the other hand say that the lack of attention from the students in the classroom is due to the fact that they go to tuition after the school.
The topic was kind of interesting but the one thing that bothered me was the absence of a student angle to the debate. The base of this discussion were the students and not involving them was kind of a dampner on the show. As I was watching the show there were so many questions that came to my mind as a viewer. Being educated in a system which puts so much emphasis on the marks rather than the knowledge aquired by the students, it was hard for me to agree with the School teachers defence on the topic.
The argument from both sides went something like this, the School teachers said that going to tuition is affecting the student’s concentration in the class and the Tuition teachers hit back saying that its due to inefficient teachers in the schools the students come to them. Personally for me I dont have any fond memories of a classroom in India. In India education is a major business and with it comes lots of competition. In schools the teachers want instant results. Not many teachers want to spend enough time with a kid having trouble with studies.
Teachers in India dont want to listen to criticizm of any kind from anyone. They have lots of ego and it was kind of funny that in the talk show they teachers said that the students are in their control. There is so much emphasis on the marks scored by the students the parents think that their only option is to put the kids in private tuitions. Few private schools in India have decided to fight the competition by only admitting students who are toppers already. I was also shocked to hear from the teachers in the debate saying that they admit kids only if their parents are educated.
These are new developments in an already outdated education system in India. The reason for the parents to trust private tuitions is because there are very few teachers in schools who concentrate on making students understand the concepts. The aim of the teachers is to just complete the syllabus assigned for a particular class for that year. The tuition teachers are not any different either as their main aim is to get the kid over the line to get money. All in all members of both the groups dont impart any knowledge to the kids but yes they tell them how to pass in an exam.
Teachers escape from their duties by complaining to the parents about the kid. When the parents hear the complaints from the teachers in the school they think the ultimate solution is to approach a private tuition teacher. If the teachers can also provide a solution for the problem faced by the kid along with the complaints then probably parents will not think about tuition teachers. The problem is that none of the teachers have a clue about the issues faced by the kid. The problem is that most of the school teachers themselves are part time tuition teachers which made me laugh when they were arguing with each other on the show.
The Indian education system already puts lots of pressure on the kids to perform as marks they score funnily enough determines how intelligent they are. Their fate most of the time is decided in the 3 hours they spend in the examination hall. To top it all there is always constant comparisons between different induviduals by the parents and the others around them.
I was one of the so called average student during my school days and faced my share of humiliations and beatings. I was also the victim of the after school tuition torture. My father was also called by my teacher for complaints and you can only imagine what happened to me after I came home that day. Inspite of all that I am currently a Masters degree holder in US with great scores and work in a big software firm.
Kids in India are not to be blamed here ,its just the system and the non availability of enough good teachers are responsible for this situation. Teachers should understand that hitting and humiliating the kids in front of their mates isnt going to help their confidence either. I may be coming accross as another complaining student but the fact is that I really respected my professors during my masters here in US and understood how students should be actually treated.
Well I dont think the situation in India is going to improve a great deal in the future. So finally my verdict on the debate is that both the School Teachers and the tuition teachers are not doing any favours for the kids. India has one of the best tried and trusted curriculam but the system surrounding it isnt that great. Teachers are not hand picked and there are hardly any good ones around. Schools and Private tuitions are a way of making money and they are equally not that worried about the students to be honest. Both are worried about getting 100% results to get their names popular with the people to get more money.