“Teachers in colleges are not bothered about teaching. Tuitions are more helpful to students as the number of people in the tuition classes is fewer,” opined Sanjana Srinath, a commerce student in a reputed college in Bangalore. Worrisome as this statement may seem, the student has some more discomforting revelations to make. “Some of our lecturers have their own coaching classes and they urge us to join them. Their motive is to get as many students as they can.”

“So fierce is the competition among the college lecturers to attract students to their tuition classes — rather than imparting quality education in colleges — that few unscrupulous lecturers resorted to stealing the question papers of 2012 II PUC question papers to give their students an edge over their competitors”. After the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inquiry laid bare the involvement of the college lecturers-turned tuition teachers in the paper leak racket, putting thousands of students to hardship, the Department of Pre University Education (DPUE) cancelled affiliations to the colleges involved.

The unholy nexus between lecturers and private coaching centres is not new, but it was never on a scale as large as this, say old timers in the education sector.

M.S. Shivakumar, principal of Atria Institute of Technology, said some colleges have laid down the rule that lecturers cannot take extra tuitions outside college. “Back in the 1970s, lecturers did help out their own students in a few difficult subjects for a nominal fee. But private coaching centres were very rare. This practice has now become more commercial, which is definitely unethical. The government should ban this activity,” he said.

Asked whether there should be some form of regulation for private coaching centres, he said, “They shouldn’t even be considered for a regulation. Emphasis should be given on efficient teaching within the classroom.”

Experts in the education field claimed that a good number of college lecturers double up as private tuition teachers as it is an easy channel for extra income.

Acknowledging the presence of this practice, but sounding the warning bells for it, one of the founders of a coaching centre chain said, “This practice has to be stopped. If the teachers tend to ignore their responsibilities in colleges, there is a need to ponder about this issue.”

Career counsellor and Director of Sigma India, Ameen E. Mudassar said a majority of students appearing for II PUC examinations and CET enrol themselves for tuitions as part of a “herd mentality.” “There is no need for such a phobia as students can prepare well for the examinations if the college faculty complete the syllabus and devote their full attention to the students in college. Students also should demand regular classes in the college from the lecturers instead of going to their tuitions.”

Naksha S., a science student, also feels that the “necessity” for tuitions is mostly psychological. “The notion that college teaching is bad is deep-rooted in students. Those who do not go to tuitions feel inferior and think they are missing out on something. It is a blind trend that is being aped.”

The “necessity”

for tuitions

is mostly psychological.

The unholy nexus between lecturers and private coaching centres is not new, but it was never on a scale as large as this.