Presented by: A/Prof. Khawar Majeed A/Prof. Tayyaba Zaman Lec. Muhammad Arif
Introduction The mushroom growth of tuition centers in the last couple of decades has raised many questions about their role in our present education system. The present paper is an effort to understand the phenomenon of the tuition center from different perspectives. Introduction The mushroom growth of tuition centers in the last couple of decades has raised many questions about their role in our present education system. The present paper is an effort to understand the phenomenon of the tuition center from different perspectives.
Golden Era of Educational System There was a time when tuitions were considered to be a taboo for studious students and was usually meant for the average. There were no proper tuition centers except a few in the country, since the studies at schools/colleges were enough for the students to grasp the concept being taught. The teachers were good at what they were doing, and this was reflected in their students. The weak students were given extra classes in college or they study in groups with the brighter boys. If tuitions were ever given, they were given for free. Those taking tuitions were studying privately and under the guidance of proper teachers and with the help of authentic notes from the regular students. This was the time when students from Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Iran and other countries were studying in our colleges and universities.
Success story of tuition centers No business can flourish if it is not responded by the society and the society only responds when it becomes helpless. For example, supply of electricity is the responsibility of government, but government is failed to provide adequate supply of electricity, as a result Generators and UPS business is at its peak. The gap has to be filled. Substitute is required irrespective people can afford it or not. Tuition centers also speak of government failure in education. These are alternatives for students when schools and colleges fail to provide required results.
How Tuition Business Started: In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the best help that students could get were extra classes held on weekends in schools/colleges or the guess paper for five to ten years for exams. But by the 1980’s, there was a sudden slackness in the education given at schools and colleges. The following factors are responsible for this business to flourish. Socio-Economic Reasons: The parents were unable to give sufficient time to their children. Their business and occupational/professional engagements and social activities/responsibilities do not allow them to give priority to their children’s education. They practically abdicate this important responsibility to educational institutions.
No time for co-curricular and extra curricular activities: Their has been a decline in opportunities for students to engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities which is very important for a balanced growth of personality. Lawlessness: The interference of political parties and formation of their student wings have negatively influenced the environment of the colleges. The deterioration in law and order situation in the country with strikes and closures of educational institutions has made the parents look towards alternatives.
Lack of career counseling and guidance: In our own educational institutions, no heed is paid to the students’ aptitude for any particular field. No system of counseling and guidance based as proper data is available. Parallel systems/Dual systems of education: What we find presently is that there is a traditional system based on Madressah education and a modern system based on western type institutions where physical and social sciences are taught. The modern system is again divided into matriculation and Cambridge systems. In matriculation system the emphasis is on rote learning while the Cambridge system develops understanding of the subject.
Sub-standard examinations and assessment system: The question papers prepared by our boards and universities do not test the understanding of the subject by the students. Any student who is apt at memorizing facts and figures is likely to pass in good grades without having basic conceptual knowledge. Those who assess the papers also fail to judge the ability of the student to grasp the subject and to articulate and communicate properly. Mistrust on the results of examination boards and universities: In a seminar organized by the Karachi Board a couple of years ago, the high-ups of the board acknowledged that there was massive corruption in the system of assessment. There is a general perception, which is true, that results are manipulated and changed by the board officials.
Government failure: The successive governments in Pakistan have failed to make adequate budgetary allocations for educational sector. Although in recent years the government increased the financial allocation, its focus was largely on higher education. Due to corruption in administrative system, funds allocated are often misappropriated while in the pipeline. The poor condition of educational institutions managed by government and existence of ghost schools are a testimony that the government has failed to fulfill its promise. Competition: In some fields there is a sort of cut throat competition. Government universities for engineering and health education are very few and students are in thousands.
Why coaching centre’s business flourished: Since government has failed to set up adequate number of educational institutions and manage them properly, the vacuum created has been filled by tuition centers. Due to lack of proper monitoring by the government and gross mismanagement, the colleges have lost their credibility as centers of learning. Whereas the tuition centers are run under professional administration. 1. GOVERNMENT PATRONAGE; Students seeking admission to professional colleges/Universities have to appear in the entrance test regardless of their results obtained. This shows the completer mistrust on the system of Examination, although results are prepared by the board and authorities managed by the state. This has opened an another door for coaching the students for entry test preparations. This culture is increasing day by day. This is an another example of silent patronage of government to such tuition centres.
2. Political Interference: In tuition centers there is no political interference. The students acquire education in a peaceful and conducive environment. Due to lack of proper monitoring by the government and gross mismanagement, the colleges have lost their credibility as centers of learning. 3. No accountability: In government colleges, there is a complete lack of accountability of the teachers. The classes are not held regularly. The colleges have become registration centers for students who refer to study in tuition centers. 4. Role of parents: Most of the parents are too busy earning their livelihood and are unable to give time to their children. A large number of parents are uneducated or lack teaching skills and have to depend on tuition centers.
Conclusion: Now that the culture of tuitions is here, it will be very difficult to end it. It is time that the ministry of education devised a plan of creating an exclusive education network affordable by all classes of society, equipped with well trained but properly paid staff at every town in every city so that children of every town/district can be enrolled in that school/college. There should be a uniform and well formulated curriculum of international standard to be taught at all these institutions, so that the students do not spend their whole day engulfed by text books. They should be allowed space for extra curricular activities so that they can enjoy their childhood/teen years, and not only have memories of spending time between schools/colleges and tuition centers. The more intelligent students can be singled out by tests and given a diversified education, but this should not be lumped upon every child with or without aptitude for the same.