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Education Industry 2017-07-14

Is the business of private coaching profitable

Specialised tuitions are the need of the hour and high disposable income has nothing to do with its need.

By Uttara.J. Malhotra Feature writer

Don’t be surprised if you are reading this figure- today the noble profession of privately teaching a group of child aka tuitions is a huge $6.5 billion industry. The need for private tutoring has become a preferred choice of many concerned parents. You can blame it on the non effective way of teaching in schools and colleges. Children as small as 5 year old are being sent off for tuitions. Statistics reveal this preferred mode of education has become the ‘a mainstay in a student's life in India.’ At a global level, the private tutoring market is projected to surpass $102.8 billion by 2018.

Challenge or Boon?
Private coaching has become the need of the hour for close to 83 percent studying mass of India. On the flipside, this has opened huge coffers for small time tuition centres and private institutes. About 87 per cent of primary school children and up to 95 per cent of high school students are also taking private tutoring in metro cities. As per an ASSOCHAM report, private coachinghave now become a more preferred mode of learning and could be said to have poached mainstream education. So, one will not be over exaggerating the fact that a huge portion of primary school children today rely on private tuitions. The increase is 100 percent. Even college students who wish to excel academically prefers the private mentoring model. No wonder, the mentoring industry existing in India is recorded a growth of almost 35% in the last five to six years.

Best of the lot
Some well known and popular names that have become standalone brands include Aakash Institute, Brilliant Tutorials, Vidyanext, TIME and FIITJEE. These primarily focus on exams such as the IIM Common Admission Test, Management Aptitude Test, IIT Joint Entrance Examination, as well as international exams such as GMAT, GRE, IELTS and TOEFL. Fees are obviously high, but they guarantee results like the promise of the best washing powder you get when you buy it for the first time.

For example, in urban cities, tuition fees do vary according to the level and location. So, for regular coaching supplementing the school curriculum, fees could be anywhere between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 4,000 a month. This is good for group tuitions. For home tuitions or private tuitions (as they are popularly referred to) the charges can go up to Rs. 1,500 an hour per subject; but this is applicable mostly for high school standards.

Conventional teaching breakdown
In fact, the deteriorating state of academic affairs in schools is not just the factor for the low level of trust amongst children when it comes to learning. We can blame it on complete shift of focus on extracurricular activities. Speaking to the media, Suman Ramdas, who heads Vidyanext, a chain of coaching classes in Bengaluru and Gurgaon said, “Teachers are far too involved in different co- curricular activities to be aware of the needs and demands of the children when it comes to academics. They are therefore, forced to skip chapters or finish the syllabi in a rush, leaving children confused and unclear about concepts.” Ramdas admits that as a tuition provider, they are far more equipped and focused at adhering to the academic needs of children.

Also, double income families have led to less parental participation in the whole academic process. As a single parent, Nina Ranjan Das, a corporate professional depends a lot on the tuition teacher to meet the academic requirements of her 16 years young son Ravi. She is earning well and can afford it. Currently, over five lakhs private tutors are actively functioning in Delhi-NCR itself. Estimates are that this figure is on a further rise. This is because the non taxable profession of running a tuition centre can earn a well qualified teacher anything between Rs. 50,000 to 70,000 in a month. In some cases, private tuitions are so popular that children have seats book a year in advance. A teacher like Priya Subramaniam from Hyderabad is one such name. She admits, “It is wrong to think that only weak students take tuitions. Private tuitions are now more about serious learning and result oriented work.” She specializes in accounts tuitions for higher secondary classes.  

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