PRIVATE coaching for money is an educational malaise which has become almost institutionalised. Parents are under the duress to send their children to coaching centres as all reputed schools are of the opinion that the institutions set up these centres for ensuring outstanding results in public examinations for students. The reputed schools in other districts have also organised mandatory coaching in schools for preparing the students for public examinations. The school authorities, as New Age reported on Tuesday, force the parents to send their children to coaching and charge between Tk 1,000 and Tk 4,000 for attending such coaching. Despite official and public disapproval, private tuition in most of the schools, thus, is flourishing. This commercial attitude of the school management committees have compelled the teachers to focus only on examinations results instead of ensuring students’ development of competence with a view to attracting more students to non-government schools.
As the additional money for private coaching can be afforded by a very few families, poorer students do not find any level playing field. Hence, inequality has become almost structural. Students are compelled to attend coaching classes as the authorities in most of the schools more often than not say that they would not shoulder any responsibility if any student fails in the examinations for not attending the coaching classes. In this examinations-centric culture, the additional pressure on the children for obtaining good marks in the examinations has led to mental ennui. Experts feel that this hectic schedule of coaching classes may impair the sound growth of students. A child health specialist attributed rising cases of psychosomatic diseases in children in Bangladesh to excessive stress in schools. Moreover, the education system based on coaching centres has certainly led to crass commercialisation of education, with all its concomitant ills. Notably, not to give full attention to students in classrooms is an offence and it is doubly so when extra attention is given to a chosen few in return for money, given the fact that no special classes would be necessary if the syllabus was properly completed in time. This is an evil the source of which is clearly identifiable and easily removable. But the evil is being embedded deeper into our education system. The government should not be helpless about stopping it. All that the government needs to do is to exercise the financial leverage it already possesses, and to intensify effective monitoring and random inspections to extirpate the malaise.
The government, in such a situation, must take effective measures even by enacting a law if education is to be saved as the evil of taking coaching classes by the teachers is snowballing.
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