Telangana

Coaching centres facing tough times

The pain of the lockdown is continuing for the teachers of hundreds of coaching and training centres that dot the city. While schools and colleges have been allowed to re-open with social distancing and staggered timings, there are no clear instructions for coaching centres. The result: Many coaching centres have shut down while others are conducting classes surreptitiously.

“Offline coaching is not allowed. We are conducting online classes but a large number of students are not habituated to online classes that’s why the number of students studying with us has declined,” says Y.V. Gopala Krishna of Ace Engineering Academy. He estimates that the income of coaching centres to have dipped to 20% as only 30-40% students signed up and the fee is lower for online classes. Many other coaching institutions that used to dot Vidyanagar, Ashoknagar, Chikkedpally and other areas of the city have gone under unable to bear the overhead costs, rentals, electricity bills and other expenses.

“I cannot run my coaching centre online as the students pay for the individual attention they get. Before COVID-19 pandemic hit, I had 45 students -- now there are 26 students and their classes have to be conducted in a staggered way,” says R. Badrinath, a math tutor who has managed to keep his centre in Ameerpet running.

“The lockdown has meant that we only have old students. We are not getting new students. I had 45 students, now I have eight students as there is no fresh intake,” says Shaikh Muhammad Fazal who teaches physics at a coaching centre in Ameerpet. Students of Class IX and Class XI start their coaching for Class X and Class XII exams. But this year, only the Class X and Class XII students have opted for coaching.

The impact of the lockdown triggered by COVID-19 pandemic is being understood only now beyond the hoo-ha of online classes. The educational crisis has led to creation of a new art installation in New York. It has 168 empty desks. 168 unused backpacks to signify 168 million futures hanging in the balance.

This classroom installation at the United Nations in New York reflects the depth of the global education crisis. "The desks and backpacks represent the 168 million children whose schools have been completely closed for nearly a year due to COVID-19. Our message to world leaders is clear: no effort should be spared to reopen schools,” said UNICEF in a message. A message that is all too real for hundreds of thousands of children in Hyderabad.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 5:28:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/coaching-centres-facing-tough-times/article34014594.ece

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