Below given is a socially useful artice written by my husband – Karuna Shankar Pande.
As a student, parent or stake holder in society one always thought that the education system in India is given and our selfish role is to make sure that we do everything possible within our reach and means to succeed – join the best schools, be disciplined and study hard. The end objective being to achieve higher marks / grades to be on better footing in this highly competitive environment. We always thought that the education system will not change or cannot be changed, definitely there is never going to be any change for any real improvement.
I am clean bowled by our Education Minister Shri Kapil Sibbal ji - for starting the thought process, something which was not seen in past decade or so. I am sure the change will be slow as it is a big wide spread, diverse system with so many boards and its standards, but the good news is that the thought process has started and I am sure the action will follow too. The Minister needs to be congratulated for these initial efforts as change always ought to start from top and he has taken the lead and has the determination to improve the education system in our country. Encouraged by his thought and will, here is an open letter to the education minister for taking on board an issue which has its own negative impact on the society. I will elaborate the issue in next few paragraphs but here I state it first – BAN COACHING CLASSES – of all kind which promise to prepare students for various entrance examinations e.g. IIT JEE , AIEEE , CAT , GMAT etc , etc and etc, in fact the second tier of the coaching classes are coming up which coach students to qualify for entrance test for these coaching classes. The situation will surely degrade if this menace is not controlled or better stopped.
The coaching classes are the biggest fraud perpetrated on the rural, economically weak and girl students of this country. Students studying in rural schools are not exposed to coaching classes run by private institutions. These institutes charge very high fees and are concentrated only in urban areas. In entrance exams the urban students score higher marks and corner more seats of the total college seats available than the number of seats proportional to the number of the students writing the 10+2 exam from urban areas. The rural and students from weaker section are not in a position to pay the high fees charged by these coaching centers. Most of these students cannot find extra time to attend these coaching classes as they have to travel long distances between their school and home or have to work in the evenings to support their families.
There was a time couple of decades back where going to a tuition class was considered a shame and students used to go for tuitions very secretly and used to make sure that no one knows that they are weak and likely to fail and hence taking extra tuitions. Now if you really ask me the only place I see for tuitions in the society is for students who have difficulty in passing their exams due to inability to follow the teachers in class.
What is the way out? The government should ban all coaching classes along with entrance exams, include a paper along with 10+2 exam if it wants to test the students' general prowess and base all admissions only on 10+2 marks. If it still wants to have a separate entrance exam then it should conduct a common all India test and all colleges and universities should use the resulting ranks as the basis for admissions. The government should ensure that the rural, students from economically weaker section and girl students are not discriminated against by the proposed test. There is a lot of confusion with multiple entrance exams mushrooming with separate exams conducted by state, central, medical, engineering, aided colleges, self financed colleges, deemed universities, for government quota, for management quota, etc.
Ban all private coaching classes which are conducted outside school and which all students cannot afford.
The government should not permit any new college to come up in urban areas, which will upset the rural-urban student ratios. New colleges should be started only in rural areas.