news Saturday, December 06, 2014 - 05:30
Madhavi Pothukuchi| The News Minute| November 18, 2014| 8.05 pm IST "We were made to sit for 10 to 12 hours a day and made to learn things 'by-heart'. The situation is such that the students are measured on their ability to rote learning and not actual intelligence. They make the children slog throughout the day and do not nurture creativity at all" said an ex-student of the IIT coaching class, Sri Chaitanya in Andhra Pradesh. This is true for most IIT coaching classes. The formula of coaching classes or schools is  not new, but what's mushrooming now are residential coaching schools. This means the students will live in the campus, attend regular classes and IIT classes after regular hours. "We provide residential and non-residential options. But many choose to opt for residential course as it saves the time of commutation," one coaching centre told TNM. They start coaching from class 5 onwards, till class 10 and teach children complex mathematics and logic which is far beyond their learning capabilities. This, they say, is to ensure beyond a doubt that the child will clear the IIT-JEE entrance exams after school. Many children in states like Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, aged 10 and upwards will not be found playing in parks and having fun after school, rather will be found studying hard in these IIT classes for 3-4 hours at least. The parents are the ones to primarily blame for such extreme measures to ensure that their child will get into an IIT or similar institute. Their main focus is on the child becoming an engineer and then immediately going to the United States and settling there. "I blame the parents. They put their kids into these places without really caring for what the kid wants to do. There is a frenzy of sending your kids to foreign countries but nobody knows what to do after that" said another ex-student of the coaching class. The coaching classes milk the aspirations of these parents for their kids and transform into big profit-making machines. Just the admission fees for a 10 year old child is Rs. 5,000 and the course fees is Rs. 30,000, which would increase as the child progresses in the class. The amount and kind of pressure that the child is put under forces the children to shut out any kind of extra curricular activities in their day. Coaching classes like Sri Chaitanya boast of top academic facilities but have no facilities for sports or any sort of physical or creative activities. The stress and pressure from teachers and parents have also pushed students off the edge, with some aspirants committing suicides. Though there have been sporadic reports of suicides among students before they even join any institute, although no official numbers are available. We are a country that is proud of producing the largest number of engineers in the world, but at what cost?

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