P.S. Kesavan has never enrolled in tuition classes all through his school days and has still scored good marks. The student of Kendriya Vidyalaya – CLRI will soon appear for the Class XII Board examination. He finds combined study useful in maths, but the concept-oriented numericals in physics is where Kesavan gets caught. “Doubt clearing classes in school are generally for the slow learners. Not all teachers are willing to share their contact numbers such that we can call them, so I refer different books,” says Kesavan.
Most of his classmates prefer self-study, unless otherwise for doubts before exams. “An online help or clarifying doubts on the telephone would be helpful,” he adds.
Doubt-clearing classes are said to remove the pre-examination jitters of students to a great extent. However, these classes are not very popular in the city and coaching institutes only offer them on a need basis. A good number of schools do offer them but it is mainly for the slow learners. Students say the school teacher may not be the best person one again wants to approach for a subject query.
Kalyani Srinivasan, teacher, says although doubt-clearing classes is a good concept, it is not popular as a majority of students are enrolled in full-time coaching institute. “Ninety five per cent of class IX and X students go for tuitions. I sometimes wonder why some of them need help since they are bright. That's because a majority of their parents are working and they think the child does productive work only when they go for tuition classes,” she says.
A.R. Jeyaraman, who runs Vijay Spoken English, a coaching institute in Thiruvanmiyur, has teachers and employees attending the doubt-clearing classes, which he conducts only on Sundays. “It is before the exam season that I have school teachers who come to revise topics in English, mainly on passive voice, where I charge Rs.150 for an hour's class,” he says.
AIMS Academy also offers doubt-clearing classes depending on the requests it gets.
For those who want to avoid the hassle of going to school or a private tuition centre, online tutors are of help. 2tion.com, an entity of EdServ, is getting an average of 60 questions a day, mainly from class XII students in the last two months. “Thirty per cent of the questions are related to topics in mathematics, while English and Science occupy the rest,” says G. Sujai, head of EdServ Mobile Division.
Dhakshina, a tutoring institute with branches across the city, had launched a programme one and a half years ago where students could clarify doubts over the phone. But it discontinued the service after a month due to poor response and now concentrates on regular coaching.