TRENDS: Is it just exam phobia or more? Chitra Aiyer speaks to parents and teachers to analyse the surging popularity of tuition classes in the City. Tuition classes have come to be a mainstay and are a big part of our educational ecosystem. With the kind of competition children these days face at every stage, parents are stressed like never before.
Age they start going
Children in Bangalore seem to normally start tuition classes somewhere around the 7th or 8th standard. Many parents, teachers and students however think that tuitions are really not a necessity till the 10th std if the child is able to pay attention at school and keep up with his school assignments. If one of the parents is able to spend at least an hour at home with the child, in going over school work, tuitions can be avoided, says Aashima Kalra, a high school Chemistry teacher at Bethany High. Almost everybody is of the opinion that Science students need the extra coaching classes, in the core subjects, to gain that competitive edge needed for entrance exams.
Math, Science and Hindi are by far the most sought after subjects at tuition classes. Minakshi Garg, who teaches primary school at Head Start in Koramangala and who takes tuition classes for Hindi and Math, says that for Hindi kids seem to start tuitions fairly early in Bangalore, in fact as early as class 1. Hindi, as a language, is not easy for a child coming from a non-Hindi speaking background. With tuitions, a child is able to know enough of the language to get good grades at school. Minakshi goes on to add that in Bangalore many children seem to find enough help at home for Science and Mathematics in their primary school. Neethi Agarwal, a mother to two boys in primary school, says that though their mother tongue is Hindi, her boys do not identify with the script. In fact, her older boy primarily spoke English at home with his parents, which made learning Hindi that much more challenging. So, they consciously chose to converse in Hindi at home to make the learning process easier for her second son.
Do tuitions help?
There are certain scenarios when extra classes are said to be warranted. For example: * If the number of children per class is high. In such a case, students are likely to need extra coaching to finish up everything the school is not likely to teach. An ideal number of students in a classroom is around 30, says Rita Dewang, an ex-teacher who has taught high school for many years in Bangalore, Delhi and Calcutta. * Parents do not have the time or are not equipped to give the students the necessary help at home. * Students who are already good at school and want that extra push to help them climb from scoring 85% to scoring anywhere above 92%. * Not all school teachers do a good job of imparting the concepts and addressing the different needs of students. Many teachers agree to the fact that a teacher in a classroom is trying to address the needs of a variety of students who have different grasping abilities. Even in good schools, only about 40% of the teachers use creative methods and give their job a 100% says Aashima. Janani Hari, who recently completed her 10th CBSE and scored 93% says she went for Math tuitions, in spite of knowing that she will be able to do well even without the extra help.