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Where attention comes at a price

Venkata Susmita Biswas
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Rules fall by wayside as tuition centres continue to cash in on the ever-growing demand

With increasing competition and a heightened demand for professional courses, the private tuition market is expanding at a high rate.— File Photo
With increasing competition and a heightened demand for professional courses, the private tuition market is expanding at a high rate.— File Photo

With increasing competition and a heightened demand for professional courses, the private tuition market is expanding at a high rate. From one-to-one classes to those where 40 to 50 students are taught by one teacher, the coaching class market is varied where even attention comes at a price.

Rules

The Karnataka Tutorial Institutions (Registration and Regulation) Rules, 2001, stipulate that the building where students attend private tuitions must have proper ventilation, safe drinking water facility and separate toilets for boys, girls and staff. This is flouted most often by those who organise tuitions.

“We conduct classes in rooms rented at shopping complexes or other commercial buildings. A batch has a minimum of 30 students and we try to hire a 300-sq. ft space for a small batch,” says Ravindra Reddy, a private tutor in Bangalore.

Though 30 is the specified batch size, tuition centres try to accommodate almost double the number in a batch. “There are about 50 students in my batch. We sit in a small room. On a lean day, four of us sit on a bench and on others, five of us squeeze in on one,” says Sharath Kashyap, a second PU student.

But the discomfort is something you get used to, he says. “The teachers are good and clear all our doubts, so we do not mind [sitting all cramped up].” Sharath has paid Rs. 40,000 for tuitions in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.

“I teach only one student at a time,” says Pritam Banerjee, an aerospace engineer who works in the public sector.

Mr. Banerjee teaches mathematics, physics and chemistry for school and college students. On weekends, he teaches up to eight students for an hour each. He charges Rs. 300 an hour for class 9 and 10 students, Rs. 400 for PU or class 11 and 12 students, and Rs. 500 for engineering students. “My expertise and experience is what I charge for. There are many who don’t have enough qualification and teach hordes of students by just reading out solutions from books,” he says.

Mr. Banerjee adds that tuitions these days are synonymous to school, where if students dare to ask doubts they are ridiculed and mocked.

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