Let us stop demonizing coaching institutes

Over the years, we have observed one trend in the Indian education system – blame coaching classes for everything! Whenever the government talks about a change in education policy, they accuse coaching institutes for creating a parallel education system. Schools criticize them for teaching only for exams. Parents sometimes indict tuitions as they have to dole out additional money. Coachings have become a punching bag; taking blames for our weak education system. Look how government and media talk about coaching institute culture: 

Even during the tough time that we are witnessing today due to Coronavirus, no one has even acknowledged the plight of coachings. They have borne the brunt of this pandemic more than anyone else. There have been talks and coverage in the press about many industries getting hit. For many industries like aviation, auto, and tourism, governments across the globe are creating bailout packages. The coaching industry may never be on that list. Forget about a bailout package; the coaching industry is not even recognized as an industry. 

Coachings do not deserve this kind of neglect and hatred

We asked 1871 students about their favorite teacher from childhood who had made the most impact on their life/career. More than 73% named one from their tuition or coaching teacher. So why is that the end customer is happy, even when everyone else hates them? Because coaching classes have been bridging a critical gap in our education system, and a large number of students have benefitted from it. 

Our education system has always been very lop-sided. Many of the schools are not able to provide a quality, well-rounded education that helps students to understand concepts and become problem solvers. Hence these students struggle at board exams and even more at the competitive exam level. Not to mention the government’s role in creating a plethora of examinations which create an insane amount on the pressure on students. Similarly, many colleges cannot impart necessary skills like problem-solving and communication, let aside creating employable engineers, scientists, or MBAs. Result: many of them keep on struggling to find jobs even after graduating. Finally, these students find solace at a coaching center or a tutor. Like a true entrepreneur, coaching institutes have tackled the problem head-on and created a niche for themselves by fulfilling the unmet demands of students. Rise of coaching institutes is an evident market-driven phenomenon where enough demand and supplies exist.   

Remember, most of the coaching class owners come from a very modest background, unlike school or college owners. They never got any government grants or even bank support. The entire $15 Billion industry has been build by these teachers with sheer hard work and their passion for teaching. All of these became possible because they solve a vital problem in this highly convoluted education landscape.  Many of the edtech startups are doing the same thing that these coaching institutes do – help students with supplementary learning. Of course, we do not blame them for creating a parallel education system. 

In some sense, coaching institutes’ situation is similar to small and medium enterprises in India. India can’t run without them, but no one wants to recognize their contributions. They have a strong presence but a highly unorganized to demand any rights. Like a dark knight, they contribute significantly to the economy and education but get no credit for it. I think it’s high time we should start acknowledging their contributions and stop demonizing them. 

What we can do for them

As a young and bootstrapped startup, WinUall can offer very little financial help. However, we have a big heart and deep respect for coachings and teachers. From today, we are starting a campaign to help coaching institutes. If your coaching is struggling due to Covid-19, please reach out to us at ashwini@winuall.com or 9610206333. We will help you as much as we can. 

If you have any bright ideas to help tutors and coachings, please suggest. 

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