For quite some time the education system and coaching have become synonymous due to the two going together for the learners in every level of education. Every student’s desire for coaching shows that the prevailing education system is contingent on the coaching. It has led to the menacing evolution of the coaching system as an integral part of the formal education system.
Concept of Coaching System
Introspection shows that the coaching relies upon the process of imparting focussed training and practice sessions for preparing individuals to maximize their performance for achieving certain immediate objectives instead of a larger perspective of facilitating learning for knowledge acquisition.
Why Coaching System Flourished?
Understanding the requirements of the society, these coachings have expanded their domain from competitive examinations to the coaching for formal curriculum at every level of education.
The situation is gradually becoming precarious due to the society accepting these two parallel education systems namely ‘formal education systems in educational institutions’ and ‘the coaching system for the curriculum similar to that of formal education’.
Parents and guardians have also accepted the need for coaching and are happily sending their wards for seeking it without any grudge.
This paradigm shift of learners leaning towards coaching has not happened suddenly because such practices date back to ages owing to the obvious reason of helping learners to make up the learning deficiencies of the class curriculum and to prepare individuals to succeed in competitive examinations.
But, the trend of the majority of students feeling the need for coaching in class curriculum-based examinations stipulates towards the learning deficiencies in the formal education system of educational institutions.
Currently, one can easily find the coaching for pre-primary level, primary level, secondary level, higher secondary level, and higher education levels along with the coaching for specific competitive examinations.
These coachings can be broadly classified as
- Coaching for formal education
- Coaching for competitive examinations
Implications of Coaching Institutes
Whether one undertakes the coaching or not, it is not the concerning issue, but the decreasing interest of learners in attending the classes of the formal education system of educational institutions and constantly increasing reliance upon the coaching for succeeding in the class curriculum-based examinations is worrying.
Students Losing Interest
Nowadays, the students losing interest in scheduled classes of the educational institutions while attending coaching for the same has become evident. From the student point of view, it seems logical in light of the effective usage of time which they perceive is not fruitfully utilized in the event of their attending classes in the educational institutions.
The loss of interest among the students in the scheduled classes of educational institutions can be attributed to the quality of teaching being inferior as compared to the expectations of the learners which has resulted in imprimatur of educational institutions for undertaking coaching.
Colleges & Schools Becoming Just a Formality
It is seen that in certain cases the students of secondary level i.e. class 11-12 take admission in certain schools merely for the sake of filling up the Board’s examination form and simultaneously enroll themselves in the coaching.
Such coaching takes care of all educational needs of the students for theory subjects which are relevant for competitive examinations while for laboratory some short-duration arrangement is made by the admitting institution.
The educational institution’s silent concurrence to absenteeism from the classes and facilitating the appearance of its students in the examination questions the relevance of the whole education system.
Coaching Institute Interventions
Thus, the present coaching interventions firstly relate to empowering the students for competitive examinations and secondly to prepare them for performing well in the class curriculum-based examinations at School/Board/College/University level.
- The first intervention by the coaching for the competitive examinations caters to the diversity of students and enhances their understanding of unlocking their potential to succeed in the competitions. Also, the assistance received from such coaching helps the students in building their confidence as well as help in practicing for cracking the competitions.
- The second intervention of the coaching is in tutoring the students for the class curriculum to perform well in such class curriculum-based examinations like the respective Board/University final examinations or examinations for admission to undergraduate/postgraduate courses in different streams like JEE, GATE in engineering, NEET in medical education, etc.
In this second case, the syllabus covered by coaching includes the syllabus of the respective program for which the student has already spent the reasonable time of program duration in the formal education system in the educational institutions. Thus, it is the duplication of efforts and time of students.
The Downfall of Formal Education
If the increasing dependence of the students upon the coaching in case of the class curriculum-based examinations is not checked, then the educational institutions offering regular contact type programs is likely to get reduced to mere examination conducting bodies for grant of certificates/diplomas/degrees and their relevance of existence in the present format will be lost over a period of time.
Coaching Reducing Trust of Formal Education System
Nowadays, some institutions have started formal coaching by outsiders for these class curriculum-based examinations on their premises and incurring the expenditure for the students participating in it.
Such institutionalization of the coaching by outsiders in the premises of the institutions mandated to offer similar courses directs to the fact that the respective education providers have accepted their failure in imbibing the students with suitable learning and knowledge to succeed in examinations based on it.
Undoubtedly, the student’s quest for reading similar courses again in classroom mode points to the learning gaps being created during the formal teaching-learning process in the portals of educational institutions in the respective program.
Must to do things
Improvement of Teaching-Learning Process
An honest look at this situation confirms that the teaching-learning processes should be made much more effective so that the students do not require coaching for studying similar courses again and spend time on it again.
Though the institutions make claims about the presence of the feedback systems for assessing the quality of educational processes, the fast pervading desire of students for undertaking coaching for the class curriculum-based examinations leads to a different scenario.
The presence of a feedback system about the quality of education processes should be effectively used so that the necessary corrections are made at the time of course delivery itself, instead of leaving the deficiencies in the learners for being taken care of after the completion of courses.
It is imperative for the educational institutions of every level to introspect and reason out this tendency of students opting for the coaching of similar courses as taught in the formal teaching-learning processes.
Generally, the learning deficiencies creep in due to the insufficient motivation of the learners for studying certain courses and eventually results in their inability for self-learning.
There are numerous pedagogical solutions available for enthusing the students with the charm for the subjects being taught to them and the institutions should resort to the appropriate one so that the learners remain confident in overcoming the learning gaps by self-learning and succeed in respective classes curriculum-based examinations.
In the majority of the cases, the educators are quite aware of the outcome of the teaching processes carried out by them, but the careful handling of students at the teacher’s end is bound to bring positive changes.
To Focus On
Looking at the scenario, it seems that the need for coaching can be eliminated to a large extent, provided the following issues are at least taken care
- Supplementing teaching with the exam oriented problem solving and sharing of failures and successes in competitive examinations.
- Closer interaction with the students to identify their weaknesses and motivate them for overcoming them.
- Advising students for seeking knowledge through holistic learning and making its application for enhancing understanding.
- Making the classrooms happy places where interactive teaching-learning is carried out without any pressure.
- Guiding students for optimal utilization of available time.
- Use of learning management systems suitably customized for meeting the specific requirements of the program and aspirations of the students.
- Use of technology for satiating the student queries for all time of course duration.
- Encouraging students for self-oriented learning to overcome the gaps in learning and competencies.
- Facilitate the holistic development of students for becoming a complete human being.
It is high time when the teachers of the formal education system of the country should seriously ponder upon the increasing penetration of the coaching in the core domain and take remedial actions so that the students develop their own capabilities during the course of formal learning in any program.
Also, the institutional governance should feel bad with the fact that their students resort to the coaching for the subjects mandated to be taught by the institution and create a remedial framework with the participation of all stakeholders.
Educational institutions should awake, arise and act for rolling out the students with the requisite knowledge and capabilities else the departure of the majority of students from scheduled classroom learning to coachings will question the need for the existence of the educational institutions for regular formal learning.
Let us make the teaching-learning processes effective and self-corrective for the benefit of the younger generation so that they use their time optimally in the classrooms and laboratories.
About Author: Dr. Onkar Singh has been the Founder Vice-Chancellor of the Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology, Gorakhpur (U.P.), the first non-affiliating technical University of U.P. state. Currently, he is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Harcourt Butler Technical University, Kanpur (U.P.). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org