With the changes, it will become mandatory for parents/guardians of all children above six years of age, to send them to at least one private tuition class, failing which will lead to their imprisonment (parents, of course). Plus, all corporate and commercial banks may sanction tuition loans at an interest rate of 14% per annum, along with sanctioning education loans, for the support of general public.
Students believe this will make schools a place meant for socializing and catching up with friends, not to forget the happening lunch breaks with taste-bud stimulating tiffin boxes. Rahul Burman, a class tenth student says such a rule was long due. “Even now, whenever I manage to take time out from my busy tuition schedule I prefer going to school instead of hitting the treadmill or playing outdoors. I particularly enjoy my physical education classes. Currently we all are working on building our muscles using our school bags. That’s so unconventional and cool.”
“Being a single-income family, I couldn’t afford to send my eight-year-old son to tuition classes along with a so-called reputed school,” says Mr. Iyer. “And so, last year, we had to withdraw him from his expensive, private school and then enrolled him in the city’s premier tuition centre. Somehow I managed to make my son a part of this ground-breaking revolution in the Education System. But many parents can’t afford it and have to compromise with their children’s education. Now because of the loan facility no parent would have to worry about it.”
Some other clauses enlisted under this Act are:
- For the convenience of students who attend schools during the day, night tuition classes will also be made available.
- Each and every child must invest not more than 6 hours for his/her non-academic activities like playing, bathing, eating, sleeping. Even reading and writing apart from course curriculum is restricted.
- A child is not permitted to skip his tuition classes without prior consent from the tutor unless there is a case of medical emergency or any other unforeseen circumstances. However schools are expected to remain lenient in this regard.
- A separate lecture should be scheduled in the daily time-table in which students are permitted to complete their tuition home-works. If needed, school teachers should be in a position to help them out with this.
- Each classroom can accommodate a maximum of 100 students per batch. This is done so as to maintain a proper teacher-student ratio.
Parents all over the nation feel relieved and are waiting impatiently for the Act to be implemented. “This is perhaps the wisest step taken by the government concerning our children’s future. It is impossible for a school teacher to pay extra attention to each and every child in a class. Thank heavens to the tuition classes. After all tuition is to education what oxygen is to life. I can now be assured that my child is in safe hands,” exclaimed Mrs. Neeta Jayachandran, a bank employee-cum-housewife.
Kitty parties—attended mostly by 30-something homemakers, where they used to play games and gossip over lunch (bitching basically) about their saas-bahu dynamics, now revolves around the number of tuition classes they can afford for their children. Tipsy Mirchandani, all decked up in her designer saree and jewellery, says matter-of-factly, “Oh! I never allow my Sid to remain idle. Although he is just 11, he attends 5 tuition classes. Very intelligent, my boy!” She continued saying annoyingly to another friend of hers, “Have you heard about that Rajan, Mrs. Vyas’s son, he sleeps for 7 hours every day, plays for another 3 hours and attends school for 8 hours. What a waste of time. And this doesn’t finish here only, his mother believes in something called self-studying and overall development of kids. So unthoughtful!”
According to ten years of research by Lateral Thinking Research Center, New Delhi, “Schools can have a life-long negative impact on a child’s psyche. All the extra-curricular activities, the competition, the increased importance given to ‘overall development’ can lead to a strong inferiority complex in mediocre children. At tuitions, you can feel good about yourself by paying more, giving suitably priced presents to the tutor at reasonable intervals etc.”
The NTMN View: If parents are paying for school studies, is there a need to make the child study the same things at a private tuition class? It only means one of these three things: the school is not efficient enough, or the child is not receptive enough, or the parents are not responsible enough. Private tuition should be used only in special cases, and not as a societal norm, as it has become today. Our children are being tortured in the name of education.
(ed. Shubham Khandelwal; Shubham and Shruti are interning with NTMN in the Internship-cum-Training program 2012)