“Tuitions” Cost

Tuitions cost, and how! Rediff reports that industry body Assocham has found that “middle-class spends a third of their income on kids’ tuitions.” (Hat tip: Reuben.)

This is one of the most potent signals of a broken educational system. The job of schools is to teach. If kids have to get private “tuitions” to actually learn something, it must mean that the schools are not doing their job. But if no consequences follow the failure to do a job, then those who fail to punish the failure are complicit in the matter. Parents are, in that sense, at least partly to blame for the disastrous state of education. There is plenty of blame to go about and quite a bit of it must be heaped upon the heads of those government institutions that regulate the system. I think the major culpable parties are the government, the schools, and the parents. The kids are the innocent victims who will unfortunately grow up to perpetuate the same victimization to their next generation. It is a vicious cycle of abuse and failure.

There is one ray of hope in this apparently hopeless situation: the system has become so corrupt that it may actually collapse catastrophically and will be replaced by something rational. If this collapse happens soon, India has some hope; if its death is long and protracted, it will be extremely costly. This means that those who are trying to patch up the system are making a bad situation worse by giving it life-support. If you really want to help, just kill the monster instead of feeding your kids to it.

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

6 thoughts on ““Tuitions” Cost”

  1. The situation has gone from bad to worse.

    Maharashtra has introduced regulation of fees in all types of schools. In the interim, the schools are barred from increasing fees.

    There was a lot of innovation in the school sector, especially in the cities. Guess that is all going to go now.

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  2. I think root cause of the problem is our society which measures output of education process by marks only. And due to lack of opportunities and/or peer pressure, getting more marks has become the end objective. I dont think those tuitions provide any better quality education. Most tuitions are provided by teachers who work in schools. Many dont teach in schools and pressurise stuents to take private coaching.

    I seriourly doubt whether any higher secondary teacher teaching maths would really know where trigonometry is used in real life. And that applies to all including those who work for best private schools also.

    Till date, i have never seen any person who could have become doctor,engineer,mba etc to become school teacher. These teachers were in bottom half or bottom quartile of their class (in evaluation based on marks). They themselves never learnt any concepts. How can we expect that they will provide a different kind of education than what they received?

    Tarang

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  3. Atanu,
    Given that parents’ (atleast non-rich) primary motivation is pushput their children into job-orientedmoney-making opportunity, indian kids are naturally exposed to the engineeringmedicine etc. Given the small number of institutions that can help people to be engineersdoctors, we naturally end up in this highly competitive situation and tutions are the means to help. All of us know that much.

    Assuming there is not going to be any systemic change, what sort of other solutions are workable? If indian parents know that the rest-of-the world has better education opportunities(and jobs) for students with real abilities to think and enough skills in respective areas, will there be enough motivation for them to send their children to ‘right’ institutions? Does such a situation encourage people to start ‘right’ institutions? Aren’t such pre-requisites necessary for the positve cycle to kick-in?

    Assuming there is not going to be any systemic change, how’d you design a business model that is ‘right’ and sustainable? Easy to ask a question but your thinking tends to be in-depth, so please fire on…

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  4. I agree that we need to act as catalysts in the destruction of our education system. The best way to do is try to make money by destroying it. I think tutions are doing exactly that.

    How about developing an non formal parallel education system?
    For example we can have a start up that will give away certifications.
    To clear certification X a student must possess skills required by a 10th std student by international standards. He is free to chose any method to learn these subjects. Tutions or self study. These examinations must be made as complex as possible so that the industry finds it credible.

    This system is already in place where institution like NIIT or SEED give job oriented training that is not given in engineering colleges. Sad part is these private institutions are equally bad in the quality of training they provide.

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  5. I do not really agree with the view point of system is already quite broken and if we stop patching it, it will collapse sooner than later and then we can start from scratch. Here are my questions ?

    1: Sure we will not patch it. What stops from those who are currently getting benefited from it from patching that system and keeping it alive as long as they wish to do so ?

    2: If we can not correct the system , what extra terrestrial force is going to be there later to help us do the same task?

    3: How do we know , people behind current system will not come with more dreadful system ?

    4: Have you really thought what let system collapse sooner really mean here ? I mean conceptually making that statement is fine, what would that really man I practical life.

    5: Even in current situation we are unable to provide everybody job .. What is going to happen so that we will be able to provide all those newly educated people jobs. And if no Jobs, what good that education is supposed to be. I agree that job is not the sole purpose of the education. It better not be. But that is for the primary for most of the people and we can disagree with that. So we need to solve that problem and then if we think more all problems seem to be related. How the hell we break this vicious cycle ? If you know solution/idea , type it here !!

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