That Extra Bit of Help Required – Really?

Yesterday, a lady whose son passed her class 10 this year met me at the washroom and I asked her ‘Are your son’s admissions done?’ she was like which admissions and I was a bit perplexed..I told her Class 11 admissions..
She smiled and said ‘ its junior college here so we call it FYJC (first year junior college) yaa they are done but the classes have not yet started..of course the tutions have started…

RM: oh so he is taking tutions for class 11 is it…
Lady: oh yes…class 11, class 12, CET all admissions done in the tutions
RM: oh is it?
Lady: yaa..1.28
RM: 1.28…is that like a code for all three combined?
Lady: no 1.28 lakhs are the tuition fees for all three combined
and RM fell down..literally on the floor…I couldnt believe this…freaking 1.28 lakhs for tutions…and this is if there are 60 students in the class..if you want a class of 25, then its about 2.5 lakhs…I was shocked…can you believe it?
and on top of that..most tuition classes insist on combined tutions for class 9 and 10 and then for class 11 and if you dont want tuitions in class 9, you dont get that in class 10..and then there are tuition homework and blah blah blah and so much that most students dont attend the school/college classes…they just attend the tutions..
I was super shocked…I knew tutions are basically a parallel school now but I didnt realise the fees were so staggering..and parents basically have to produce PDCs (Post dated cheques) to the tuition classes which usually recover the entire amount in three if the classes start in July, by Sept end all the fees is given to them..which by the way is for the next 3 years!


I didnt take tutions for my class 10…I was the only student in whole school of english medium section A + B and Gujarati medium sections A to F who didnt take tutions…and I was often a subject of discussion because of that…but my parents were pretty clear that if I couldnt manage with my school teaching what additional stuff could I do with tutions…here I must admit that my school teachers were definitely extra helpful in correcting extra papers that I solved, my mom’s school teachers would give me tips on better presentations, etc etc and I passed out with pretty decent marks..okie lemme brag a little, I topped my school…that too without tutions..
however, I felt really out of place and insisted that my parents put me for tutions in my class 12…they agreed with a lot of reluctance (and some amount of pressure from my friends’ parents on how their child will miss out on that extra bit of coaching) but my mom asked me to select one subject in which I wouldnt take tutions and I selected biology..can you believe I came 10th in my school in class 12 but topped the school in biology with the highest personal score of mine in biology…yes that was again without tutions..
I am all in favor for additional help in form of tuitions for children who really need it..the one on one extra interaction between a teacher (who need not teach in a school) and a student who needs that extra bit of attention…if its needed, I all for it..tomorrow if my child needs it, I am ready to give that tuition bit to her..
but tuition classes, which are like parallel schools in themselves, where 60 to 70 students sit in a closed small classroom and study exactly like they do in school, where they have exams, a parallel syllabus (your school syllabus may not match with your tuition syllabus meaning you will need to study double if you want to pass your school’s 1st and 2nd terminal exams) different question papers, some tuition classes even offer bus services similar to school and on top of that you shell out 10 times the money which you pay to school and your child doesnt even attend the school lectures…how can such an educational system sustain..isnt it wrong?
I can understand if some students within the class need to be worked upon..need an extra bit to push them to study..but if everyone from toppers to last, start attending tutions whats the difference between tutions and may as well attend tutions only na?

I am not against any tuition teachers or tuition classes as long as they are on a personal basis and one on one level…what irks me is these tuition classes..and its becoming a fad…
I mean, I took tuitions in class 12 only because I didnt want to be the odd one out..if you know what I mean….there was no other reason infact a lot of my school teachers used to take tutions..and so most of us ended up going you have the school teacher hardly teaching in school but teaching well in the tuition classes..again this is nothing against school mom is one and I know that most of them get paid a pittance…most teachers take up tutions as an additional source of income…but tuition classes which are like full fledged schools, sorry I dont agree to those…
and honestly with 60 students in one class, how is it different from school? you take tutions to get that extra attention to yourself to enhance your studies, but then if you go to a class, what is the point ? its like same set of students except without an uniform! and in some cases, same set of teachers as well!
Again, I will be eating up my own words when R starts proper school and demands to go to these classes…like my parents, I will have to succumb to the demands..but the amount of money that goes with these classes, I think I will need to start saving now..RD are you listening?

About R's Mom

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27 Responses to That Extra Bit of Help Required – Really?

  1. everything is so commercial.. 😦 my biggest worry is the management seat for medical.. if 80% of the students that get into med school are the ones with low brains but heavy pockets.. what kind of doctors are we producing.

  2. Hi RM, Great thoughts, as usual!The other day, some one of my dad's generation was telling us that during their days, parents felt bad and disgraced that their children were going for tuition classes. They were of the opinion that students who take to tuitions are the ones who need additional efforts to get coached as against those who do it with coaching from the regular school itself, which made the parents feel bad and let-down. Today, its the reverse. I, as a parent, should be proud that my children are going for tuitions? For what, God only knows!I skipped tuition during my tenth and yet scored well. I went for tuition classes for only Maths during twelveth and scored a centum! But the fact was I was the 'only' student for my teacher at the tuition class. It was basically her house where she took classes and it was primarily for practicing what I was taught in school ('cos I was that lazy to do it by myself at home!) and not re-teaching the entire thing.The way, these parallel schools called tuitions are being run these days is truly pathetic. The entire system is plain farce to me. I really don't know how things will change in the next ten years and what more, us parents have in store!! 😦

  3. varsha says:

    Ah RM, it is a big industry by iteself in Chennai. You have tutions for Engineering courses as well !!

  4. Anu thati says:

    RM,yes i realised that even kids give more importance to tuition's than to school. my sister is 11th this year. we had to pay Rs.8000 for maths alone for this year. where she has to sit with 120 students and sit on floor. she is so sincere in studying for the tuition . the reason is that she feels dad has given more money to him.( the tuition teacher earns around 8 lakhs every year, her can save a lot. that to its only his part time job. he is employed in other organization as scientist)infact her school fees per year is only 14,000. where she sits comfortably in a class of 30 students and taught all subjects.i can see her in complete stress. she has to run from school to tuition and study for both test. teachers in school torture students going to tuition as they feel insecure that their teaching at school is bad etc etc..this reminded me, how much interest we( as architects) take pains in designing a good school and environment for kids and they are put in space constrained tuition. i have posted a school i designed and concepts for making it a good environment.

  5. Anu thati says:

    hey RM please do write a post on how u met RD na as pepper has also asked you, i got so inspired by peppers post that i wrote mine. but very curious to read yours.

  6. The Bride says:

    R's Mom, you're such a scholarrr! (as kids used to say to the ones who topped the class in my day).My sis who wanted to do engineering did do special tuitions in class 12 in Physics, Chem and Maths – the aggregate that is counted for engineering admissions. In 1996, they cost 40,000 for 3 subjects. These were the most in-demand tuition teachers and they only had about eight students in each class. In fact, getting into those tuitions was an achievement. I think the point of regular school is just to impart knowledge and cover a certain syllabus. (one hopes). The point of tuitions is to prime students for an exam, make them work on the kind of questions that will come for the exam, and do extra practise. Not condoning it but it's a sad thing that the system encourages this sort of thing. Also some of these tuition classes are famous (notorious?) for getting the papers beforehand. So that's what you're paying for. I just hope Benji doesn't choose a field that requires too many tuitions.

  7. momofrs says:

    Extremely well said R!!There was a statement I used to make to meddling aunts who wanted to know when I'll be having babies. I used to say, "I'm earning and saving up for ther college education". I know regular schooling will get more expensive by the day, but I had no idea that tuitions would start charging at that rate :|Stumped I am!! (all the more reason for me to NOT quit working 😀 )I took tuitions only once in my life, 11th standard (for maths) and that year, I got the least marks in maths in my entire life. For 12th, I opted out! Only regular classes and self-study was enough. I didn't top the school, but neither did 90% of the population that took tuitions!I think tuitions just make the children less independent. We used to either study alone or in groups, solving each other's doubts. I think its the best way to learn.

  8. RS says:

    I didnt go to tution for std 10 either and stood 3rd for school 🙂 Infact got the 63 rank for the state (My bit of bragging). But for class 12 I did go to PCM tutions which was actually very taxing – because there used to be no time to study!! tution in the morning,college,tution in the evening! Whew! I AM sooo glad Im done with it now! As for Chutku – I will cross the bridge when I come to it – but definitely no tution before class 10 atleast!

  9. R's Mom says:

    @Shruti: Isnt it 😦 lets not even discuss reservations here…thats a different post in itself@Sugar and Spice: True in our parents generation, they would be embrassed to send their kids to tuitions..see thats what I mean by one on one interaction…its so important *You scored 100/100 in Maths in class 12 – falls at feet*@Varsha: oh yaa..even in Mumbai that happens…engineering ke liye tuitions…I mean its so so wonder no research gets done here!@Anu: oh your poor sister…I so sympathize with her..all the best to her..and the meeting up post…chalo lets see if I can do it :)hugs to Advi :)you are an – like for S&S falls at your feet as well!@The Bride: Aiyo that scholarrr thing was such a fad! no I wasnt a scholar just hard working 🙂 exactly, I hope R chooses some hair dressing or catering as her profession..wouldnt that be exotic 🙂 and I get free haircuts and food yaya!@Momofrs: Longtime..hope things are fine :)hahahah on the first statement on meddling aunties :)oh schools in Mumbai are bloody expensive…thats one of the reasons disuading me from having another kid..seriously..I dont think I can afford it!I loved the last para you wrote…true so true@RS: *Falls at feet for all that scoring* –

  10. Ansh says:

    Finally, I am able to comment on your blog after three days… Last two posts I had so much to say but there was some problem in blogger and I could not comment. This post brought about my old and very bad memories of class 11 and 12. I am from a very small town where going to tutions or coachings as they were called were very popular. Professors from a particular college would organize batches of classes for students preparing for competitive exams (engineering or medical). In fact as long as I was in Class 12 it was a joke that in our town either the child will become an engineer or a doctor, no other profession. It was really very much true. So it was quite obvious that I am going to attend them.. But in my case, it was just opposite. My father forced me to join some not so popular classes because all the toppers of our class were attending them (Ahem… I was among the top 10 as well)…But now I realize these tutions were nowhere good with around 60 students squeezed up in a small where they can hardly concentrate on the board and the teacher would just teach in a similar way as in a classroom.. Then what is the point of that extra effort where you are not giving any personal attention to any child? There were some students who did not attend those classes and at the end of the day there was no difference between the two of us.. In fact they did fairly better in the test and exams. The point I am saying is' It is fine to take coachings for some competitive exams as they require a different approach of preparation. But I seriously do not get that why do they have to start with Class 10 or 11. The test, the difference in patterns all put an extra effort or must I say an extra stress on a child's mind. The hours spent in the school are I suppose enough for a child's education. I am definitely not going to send MS to any tutions until Class 10. But then, if he wants to go just because all his friends are going I will try my best to make him understand why he needs not to go as we are there to help him in his studies. If I feel that he can clear the competitive exams with that extra guidance I am all for it. But a school after a school to add up to his stress and giving a big hole in our pocket just for no good is sincerely No from my side.

  11. mannbikram says:

    OH MY GOT .. Frgging unbeleivable … I had tuition in 12 but that was for a entire different reason , to make more pocket money YEAH i was a bad boy I needed money so I asked dad i want tuition as i di dnot want to tell him why i needed money so for a few months tuition 🙂 and money in my pocket .. Oh god My dad trusted me so much .. I was bad .. But I needed the Money na .. 🙂 Bikram's

  12. Swaram says:

    Sigh! The saddest part being that I hv seen teachers in few schools, mostly colleges taking it for granted that students are anyway attending tuition and so they can take it light 😦

  13. Snowdrop says:

    * have the school teacher hardly teaching in school but teaching well in the tuition classes..*This was true when I did my 12th ,atleast to some extent.But my tution teachers helped me a lot I must say.As Anu asked, pls pls post your love story !! :):):)

  14. R's Mom says:

    @Ansh: Aiyo yeh blogger ki toh maine! What a pain!! sorry and all that okie :)Yaa my parents did the same with us till our class 10..then I grew up too much n started fighting to send me… 🙂 but I can so relate to that tutions and all that yaar…and top 10 eh! *Bows*@Bikram: Kya..boss you have loads of guts..if my parents found out, I would have been slaughtered!@Swaram: true..thats the case in most colleges..infact in MSU baroda the commerce faculty barely functions because ALL the people go to tuitions :(@Snowdrop: sad story nahi…I have a proper arranged marriage with horoscope matching and all that rey 🙂

  15. venus says:

    I agree to you completely Rs Mom! I come from a very small town where people are crazy about studies and coaching classes for engineering, specially IIT!Every parent wants their child to get into IIT! Thankfully my parents never forced me into that mad race.. I was decently good in studies and wanted to do engineering and thus joined tutions as it was a kind of Fad at school… joined the best tuition where everyone went as you were considered 'not that good' if you were not going to that tution!My grades dropped drastically in class 11th inspite of the best tutions.. my parents were supportive enough and asked me to take a decision on how and what i wanted.. I decided that i don't want tutions anymore.. as i realised that i was getting distracted and losing on the actual study hours…I was a topic of discussion there after but i didn't.. just went for a maths class where i knew the lady so well that i enjoyed practicing maths with her 🙂 and it was just 2 hrs in a week… and trust me I scored very well in my 12th board exams sans the tutions! 😀

  16. R's Mom says:

    @Venus: Your parents are usper nice na…you scored well in your boards without tuitions..sahi babes 🙂

  17. Vidya says:

    You are talking about tuition for class 9 and above.. Have you heard of parents sending kids as early as 3rd standard? And have you heard of parents collecting question banks of the previous 3 yrs for classes as small as 3rd standard? It happens.. And you'll find these parents acting very discreet about it:) I've guaranteed Vyas his free meal only till he and his brother are 18, post which they have to fend for themselves- even if that means a part-time job;) No extra expenditure for academics besides school.. Extra activities yes, only if they are interested.

  18. R's Mom says:

    @Vidya: oh there are tuitions for pre schoolers to get admissions in good schools and I am not kidding!I loved that thing about free means only till 18..I am going to tell that to R as well..awesome Vidya..I hope to become such a cool parent like you

  19. Bikramjit says:

    they did not find out.. warna you think i would be alive , you know my dad he had the real DHAI KILLO KA HAATH.. i would have been gone case for sureee.. Dead … and it was not guts I needed the money .. us time Girl friends theen na .. well from my side they were my GF's nothing from their side .. So money was needed SAMJHA KAROooooooooo 🙂

  20. Ashwathy says:

    I've done minimum tuition all my life…just the bare minimum only for subjects where I really felt I needed a boost; unlike other kids who were doing it just to prove a point and be along with the others who were going to tuition for each and every subject. I never had tuition for my graduation or PG, scored well for both too. Bottomline: to each his own. Left to myself, I'd ask for tuition for my kids only if absolutely necessary.P.S.:Congrats on scoring good marks even without it 🙂

  21. R's Mom says:

    @Bikram: and now…no girlfriendds ;)@Ashwathy: *falls at feet and looks up for inspiration*

  22. Ashwathy says:

    LOL!! By the way I did not take up science for graduation. I took up humanities. ANd later on a management degree. not quite tuition material, you see! 😀 THat's the secret!

  23. R's Mom says:

    @Ashwathy: WHAT humanities ke baad MBA! Sahi babes..sahi!!!

  24. Ashwathy says:

    No it was B.A. journalism and then M.A. Media Management 🙂

  25. R's Mom says:

    @Ashwathy: WHAT BA Journalism..arey I so wanted to do that..and then I tried to get into an masters for media..but didnt qualify 😦

  26. Mama - Mia says:

    i think these days its the pressure and lack of time…a deadly combination. i know friends whose kids in 2nd standard go for tutions. according to them it avoids battles at home and kids listen to them better than us! i dunno. i wish we didnt have to! 😦

  27. R's Mom says:

    @Mama-Mia: Even I know people whose class 1 kids go for tutions..but my Question is are they needed…cant the parents be a little more understanding..and no I may have to eat my words 3 years down the line..but still….

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