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Are coaching classes hampering the quality of IIT education in India?

With increase in the number of coaching classes the number of students attending them have increased phenomenally. With the result, the number of students getting admitted in IITs has also increased. Those with raw intelligence are left behind if they don’t attend a coaching centre. Coaching gives you an idea of the various kinds of problems that may appear on the exam and the tips and tricks to crack them.

After all, in an objective paper (which the JEE has now become), try as hard one might, there is a limit to the number and types of variations that can be introduced in a question. If you look at the number of people staying back after doing their under graduation from an IIT, it will be minuscule. >70% of the class realizes that they didn’t want to become engineers in the first place. At a coaching centre, the whole focus shifts from understanding a concept to applying it in the context of a problem. No doubt, as an engineer your expected role in the real world is application. But without giving yourself time to fundamentally understand a concept, one cannot come up with an original idea when faced with a completely unknown and new real world situation. Having attended coaching classes in Kota, I can vouch for the fact that this is what happens at coaching centres. Very little time is spent on teaching how a rule or law was developed, the thought process behind it. It is left to the student to go about understanding all that stuff if he really cares to. Most of the teachers are engineers themselves, so they are far more interested in solving problems than dwelling on theory. It is not important from an examination point of view because of the nature of the paper and given the limited time at their disposal they are in a hurry. Since at most of these coaching hubs school is merely a formality, (not that any of the Kota schools are worth much, the only people teaching there are those who couldn’t land a nice coaching institute job) students don’t get to learn any fundamentals since they don’t attend school. A lot of time has passed since I was there in Kota last so I am not aware of the situation as of today with regards to attending school. I have heard that Bansal Classes has set up its own school Yes, students at coaching centres do burn out by the time they are in college and generally spend the first year chilling out a bit.A parallel education system in the form of the coaching industry exists simply because there is overwhelming demand. Quality institutions of higher education are scarce and there is a yawning gap between those at the top and those immediately below. Good jobs and high salaries are available only to those from top rung institutes because a degree from one these institutes is what every company worth its name lists in the eligibility criteria. And even at some of these top-rung institutes, core engineering jobs are not readily available so many Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Engineers end up in the IT sector or the Finance sector. It can be argued that a large number opts for the latter for the high salaries but that’s an argument for another day.

If you look at the number of people staying back till PhD after doing their under graduation from an IIT, it will be miniscule. At least half the class realizes that they didn’t want to become engineers in the first place. Only those very academically inclined opt for a PhD, that too preferably abroad. Education is high quality and PhD education is highly subsidized. You can actually end up saving rather than spending by the time you are done. For post-graduation also, most people opt for for an MS in the US at a high cost because education is good, and that’s where the jobs and moolah is. Most people in India enter engineering for one or more of the following reasons

1) A good, high-paying job after a B.Tech or B.E
2) Want to move to the States and the easiest way to do so is this: Get a branded under graduation engineering degree in India, move to a US University for MS and end up working in the tech sector.
3) Peer pressure, family pressure.
4) They don’t know what else to do with their life. Engineering is a very curious field in India. It opens up doors to careers in a lot of other fields as well because people here are looking only for talent and it is generally accepted wisdom that engineers from a reputed college are inherently talented.

 

Also read the IIT  special of Jammag!

http://www.jammag.com/iit-at-any-cost/

http://www.jammag.com/unanswered-questions-about-the-iit-jee-2/

http://www.jammag.com/are-coaching-classes-hampering-the-quality-of-iit-education-in-india-2/

http://www.jammag.com/just-another-carrer-query/

http://www.jammag.com/why-are-the-iits-losing-their-global-ranking/

http://www.jammag.com/if-not-m-techiit-then-what/

About Ankit Agarwal