Of Coaching Centers

Enam  Lone

As a society, we, nowadays, are plagued with many a menace. And for every single one of them, we have been having elaborate and in-depth debates, analysis and criticism, emanating from almost all walks of life. But as they say, “Charity begins at home”, we rarely come across people who are willing to take the first step towards putting out the ever-increasing flame of these social evils.

One issue that fits the context here is that of the mushrooming of coaching centres in Kashmir. A cursory look at the architecture of the issue reveals a grim state of affairs. Herds of school going children jam-packed into small and poorly maintained enclosures, hefty tuition fees and the unchecked (mis) use of the “opportunities” that are presented before the children in the ensuing environment thereof; such things, among others,  characterize the image that coaching centres impress upon the walls of our brains. But as with every other thing, they have their share of pros and cons, and reasons that justify and even necessitate the approach of parents towards these “business hubs” or “niches of immorality”, whatever, it is that our media dubs them as.

An honest thinking shows an apparent scar, on the face of our education system, that seems to be the major player in this process of privatization and trade of education. Every year we get to witness the pathetic board result of students who attend government schools.

Despite the logical inference and fact that the cream of our literates goes into making of the faculty of these government educational institutions, we prefer to get our kith and kin enrolled in a coaching centres, where, in many cases the teachers are not even anywhere near in comparison to the government teachers in terms of qualifications! There must be an explanation, and a sound one, as to why we choose an expensive course of action as against an affordable and “officially licensed” one.

Honestly speaking, there is a lack of sincerity and dedication in most cases. That is what begets the trust deficit among common masses in the first place. And that is what is responsible for the dwindling roll in government schools, day by day; and people preferring private schools instead of government schools.

Reasons and causes apart, speaking strictly of the setup of coaching centres there are merits as well as demerits.

A few reputed ones offer coaching and guidance with the aid of hardworking and persevering teachers, who make the difference between them and government institutions crystal clear. Others just leech on desperate students vying to secure more marks or a place in a particular field through competitive exams.

A student gets a feel of the extent of competition in these places, and moreover, they get a fair degree of exposure as well, which is almost totally absent in government schools.

The demerits of these centres are equally grave. There have been instances of unorganized crimes at these places. They offer a safe destination for drug abuse as mostly these places go unchecked. Not so long ago, a student was murdered by another in a North Kashmir town in the premises of a coaching centre.

Immorality wreaks havoc at such places, with members of opposite gender at liberty to act on their naive impulses.

In effect, coaching centres have become an evil necessity for us. It’s an “Aage kunwaan peechhey khaayi” situation for parents and students as well. So we are left with no choice but to strike a balance between the two and thus arrive at a “lesser evil”!

An engineer by profession, the author interests in literature. He can be contacted at/https://www.facebook.com/the.lonely.sojourn .

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