A few decades ago if someone in school was getting extra-coaching in studies, that child was described as unintelligent and below average student. During those times such activity was considered to be shameful. Teacher was supposed to put his entire effort in class and student was supposed to learn all the matters at school. In case he failed to understand in the class, it was quite evident that the kid had lack of interest in the studies. However, in today’s age of laptops and smartphones it has now been assumed that tuition or academies or in other words – extra coaching for studies is an essential formula to pass the exams.
In Pakistan today, one of the many problems being faced by the country is the culture of tuition and academies. In all the urban cities of Pakistan there has grown vast networks of academies and tuition centres – not only for school children but also for college and graduate level students. These networks have been enrooted themselves in reputable institutes from where they not only recruit students but teachers as well. Alarming and unfortunate is that the situation that the very same teachers who are unable to deliver their knowledge in schools despite receiving bundles of cash as monthly salaries – teach in different academies with utmost dedication.
It is true that the standard of education has been raised for the last few decades. Demands of colleges and universities have been increased in terms of miracles. Also, the teaching methodologies have made progress in the world which needs to be implanted locally as well. So far the tuition centres are concerned; they have targeted these issues in really effective way which cannot be ignored.
To get admission in government colleges with low fee structures and good repute – has really become a challenging task for a student who has passed his or her school. After completing intermediate studies the admission in different universities becomes another milestone to be covered; and the fee structures of universities especially the private ones, become nightmares for parents. These tuition centres or academies ensure better grades for the students whose next journey is to go to a college or a university.
If we take only Lahore as an example, there are hundreds – nay thousands of tuition centres opened in the areas from busiest spots to the slum areas of the city. In almost every second street one may find a tuition centre. The trend is to create networks of academies spread throughout and, covering all the parts of the city. Some of the networks have dozens of branches in metropolitan and in each branch number of students can be estimated around a thousand’s figure. Such coaching institutes charge handsome amounts of money from students, which is yet another problem for parents who have no other way than to flow with the torrent of social cycle. In renowned academies, individual fee for a 10th grader is not less than five-thousand rupees per month. This difficult situation is alike both for middle-class or lower-class parents. However, well-off families could afford, can afford and will keep affording everything for their children.
Another important point to ponder is that the fare of academies or tuition centres differs from place to place. If the academy is located in a posh area, then the fee will also be as high as is the standard of living of people of that locality. In case, the academy is situated in an under-developed area, the academy administration will charge the student ‘customers’ according to their pockets.
This culture of academies has spread itself in a short span of time. Irrespective of the results shown by these tuition centres, old school-style teaching with its slow and steady but qualitative pace has largely been vanished.
Standard of education should be made better and moral corruption in schools on teachers’ part, if it really exists, should be eradicated to reinforce the spirit of schooling; instead of every individual’s self-styled coaching methodologies which lead students make-up their minds as if they can study only in these tuition centres. If proper educational environment and preservation of qualitative against quantitative education are the goals, our government ought to adopt a clear-cut and balanced educational policy in the country.
(Tuition Culture in Pakistan)