There are Educational Institutions Thriving on Tuition Culture

“For sure, one can witness an inverse correlation between teacher efficiency and the number of students depending on tuition facilities in these schools.”

During my school days, my English teacher hated my presence in the classroom. Because I entered the classroom with prior knowledge of the topic she wanted to teach.  Students like me literally killed the suspense, the element of surprise with which teacher has decided to present the matter.

Teachers, in general, feel a distaste towards students who depend on alternative teaching resources. These students are in a position to compare the teaching methods of two or three teachers. Most often the student decrees his/her tuition teacher’s strategies as superior to that of class teacher’s.  

There are teachers who secretly feel happy when they come to know that tuition classes are not making any desired impact on the progress of the student. Some teachers are reluctant to appreciate the grades students amass with the help of tuition classes.

Yet there are teachers who do not care about the sources students rely to procure grades. And whether the student went to tuition classes or not—-they are little bothered by it.  Because whenever a student is praised inside the school, the subject teacher will be referred as a major contributor to it.

Tuition classes—a proof for low-quality education

The proliferation of tuition classes is a proof for ‘quality erosion’ in educational institutions. Moreover, tuition culture will accentuate the ongoing lethargy permeating educational system of the society. Too much tuition centers in a locality will kill the professionals’ motivation to excel in teaching. It will smother the growth mindset of the teaching community. See what Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has to say on private tuition.

“One evil breed another, and the inequity of private tuition not only reflects the inefficiency of the school system, it also helps to reinforce that inefficiency. Perhaps the strongest argument for banning private tuition lies in the recognition that its presence makes the more influential – and richer – parents less concerned about the quality of normal schooling. If private tuition becomes unavailable, the more powerful families will become more dependent on the schools for the education of their children (as the poor and less influential families already are) and the likely pressure this may generate on the running of schools may well be critically important for their efficient functioning.” As reported in Times of India daily  (Nov 23, 2002)

Why there are tuition classes?

Under-motivated teachers.  When a teacher loses his interest in academics it is quite natural that there will sprout tuition classes for his/her subject of teaching in that locality. As a vicious cycle, these tuition centers reinforce teacher’s lack of interest in the academic growth of students.  Teachers’ failure to cater to the manifold needs of learning group is the prime reason for the proliferation of tuition classes.

Personal Inadequacy of the student.  There are students who simply can’t absorb the matter presented even by the most efficient teachers in a class room setting. Causes for this personal inadequacy aside, attending tuition classes will verily support such students. When the class teacher fails to recognize the personal inadequacy of the student, the tuition teacher works towards resolving it out. The tuition teacher who speaks straight into the eyes of students is in a better position to anchor student’s energy on studies and guard student motivation from going wayward. He exploits the student’s never ending the need for individual attention for this and elicits desirable academic outcomes from the student.

Poor learning habits of the student Poor learning habits hampering possibilities for systematic learning results from a lack of discipline in learning. Developing healthy, competent learning habits in students is not in the agenda of many school teachers. Then parents see tuition classes as a means for inducing discipline in learning. Usually, tuition classes accommodate only a small group of students. So contingencies set for learning by the tuition teacher are likely to be more personalized. Effective short term goals set for individual students by the tuition teacher might strengthen the habit of daily learning and save them from the clutches of laziness.

Short cut to parental involvement. Work-life balancing strategies adopted by some parents do not allow enough space for “parental involvement” in learning.  Such parents compensate for this by sending their wards to tuition classes. These parents are not really aware of the exact purpose of “parent involvement in learning” and they are totally ignorant of its impact on student academic growth and development.

To beat laziness Some students are easily distracted and always need a formal atmosphere to enter into a learning mood. To ward off distractions from eating into their study time parents of affluent families hire tuition teachers.

Parental aspirations Ambitious parents feel that their wards will excel and clinch higher grades just by attending more and more ‘extra/additional’ classes. Even on Sundays, such parents pack their wards to tuition classes.

Complexity Finally, the sheer complexity of certain syllabus shoves students to tuition classes for more clarification and repeated exposure to the matter to be learned.

Liaison between schools and tuition centers

There are schools which do not care to take an account of the number of students attending tuition classes. They are never inquisitive about the reasons which persuade the students to go in search of tuition centers. Such non-productive institutions are accomplices in the stagnation of school education in general. Authorities of such schools are not interested in nourishing the roots. Their eyes are only on the fruits of teaching. Who nourishes the roots —class teacher or tuition teacher—is not their concern.

The proliferation of tuition centers in a locality is a sheer proof for low-quality education provided in the schools of the locality. For sure, one can witness an inverse correlation between teacher efficiency and the number of students depending on tuition facilities in these schools. When class room teaching fails to recognize ‘student dissatisfaction’ or fails to ‘give individual attention’ or does not care to delve into the cause of lack of cooperation from students, parents (and students) go in search of more effective teaching centers.  

Though many schools clinch the limelight for academic excellence, the real picture behind the scenes is often a little bit murkier than what one can assume. There, one may witness a passive professional school teacher and an active non-professional tuition teacher without many credentials to speak of. Both teachers working for the same group of students might be nurturing different sort of aspiration for their students. Both might be looking at the same student from entirely different angles as far as academic growth of the student is concerned.

Why teachers should search for the reason behind tuition culture

Unlike a tuition teacher, a professional teacher’s interest in their students is not only academic it is holistic. So set out a search for motivating factors that prompt the students to opt for tuition classes. It will definitely widen your perspective about the student world

  • If your students attend tuition classes take an account of their motivation behind it.
  • The search will uncover a lot more opportunity to develop your own professional skills.
  • To speak from a wider perspective, such an exploration will unearth the loopholes in the educational system.
  • You can closely feel the pulse of educational expectations of the new millennium.
  • Your improved awareness about parental expectations and aspirations will refine your approaches towards students as well as to parents.
  • By devising novel strategies to keep pace with the educational needs and tastes of modern students you can embrace excellence in your profession.
  • Knowledge about students’ psychological disposition and their personal preferences will deepen your insight into class room teaching.
  • Your class room teaching will undergo a spontaneous transformation.
  • You will always be in need of expanding your professional skills not by competing with the tuition teacher but by recognizing the vast possibilities to reach out to the learner’s mind.

Jeny Rapheal

I am a higher secondary school teacher working in Kerala, India. I have 16 years experience in teaching and has published 15 research papers in various national, international journals. At present I am doing research in adolescent psychology in Bharathiar University Coimbatore.

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