Updated: December 1, 2020 7:47:06 pm
The newly-released National Education Policy (NEP) was scathing in its criticism of private coaching institutes that have mushroomed across the country, saying that coaching culture does ‘much harm, especially at the secondary school level.’
Reacting to this, a group of institutes that offer coaching for various entrance examinations has formed a federation to bring in uniform standards across the industry. Named the Coaching Federation of India (CFI), the group, which includes ALLEN, FIITJEE, Vidyamandir, and others will focus on capping fee structure and content taught across big and small tuition classes.
The NEP, released in July, had said, “A coaching culture is replacing valuable time for true learning with excessive exam coaching and preparation. These exams also force students to learn a very narrow band of material in a single stream, rather than allowing the flexibility and choice that will be so important in the education system of the future.”
Mrityunjay Narayanan, president of the CFI said that the malpractices are only limited to 2-5 per cent of institutes which are resulting in the deterioration of the entire sector. To elevate the level of teaching across institutes, the CFI claims to be providing standardised content to all institutes and students directly for both JEE and NEET. “This will eliminate the unhealthy competition and bring all institutes to a level field in terms of content, where the teaching abilities of teachers will act as the competitive factor to attract students. It will also stop inflicting pressure on students as they will not have to read endless piles of materials,” he said.
Some coaching institutes even charge over a lakh per year for training a student for JEE Main, NEET. The last estimated cost of the coaching industry in India was evaluated in 2015 when the industry was estimated to be generating a revenue of Rs 24,000 crore.
Members of the group will have to regulate their fee and adhere to the cap to be put in place by the federation. However, these conditions are not binding by law.
Though several states offer coaching to students from socially backward classes, the NEP, in its recommendation, said the exam system should be evolved into a more holistic form which can “eliminate the need for undertaking coaching classes”.
While the federation has welcomed the NEP by stating that it will help India move from towards “regular and formative assessment, which is more competency-based” and “tests higher-order skills, such as analysis, logical thinking, and clarity”, the president claimed that NEP will not mean the end of the coaching industry as long as there is a competitive environment.
“The new reforms will give access to all students irrespective of the geographic and economic differences as all students will have quality content and hence will eliminate the pressure. Parents, however, also end up exerting pressure on their students, that is why we aim to have guidelines and training for parents and teachers too,” he said.
Narayanan had taken the lead for forming the federation in 2012, but not many joined hands then. He believes the pandemic played a role in more members joining the federation. “During the pandemic, we have got more support as students have gone home and the classes are being held digitally. Not all institutes have the skills and support to manage that,” he said.
The federation claims to have 5,000 coaching institutes under its umbrella.
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