Tutoring industry, a booming business in education
AFTER the inception of Pakistan and on the directions of Baba-e-Qaum, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the first international conference on education was held in 1947, which was attended by the great scholars, educationists and Vice Chancellors of various universities of that time.
According to his important message, Quaid-i-Azam exhorted the nation that “Education is the leading guide for our children to follow, it is the process to nourish the personality and modify the behavior of life.
Without education life is very hard and impregnable to our worldly problems of life, and sometimes it becomes impossible to strive for progress and development in any field of life.
” But what future structure of the educational system be followed for the nation; in fact, it is based on their cultural, religious, traditional, climatic and international scientific requirements, based on the vision of their own scholars and should be at the right time and of the right type.
This was accepted by the participating scholars in letter and spirit. All the deliberations and suggestions were strictly followed by the nation in the light of the Quaid-i-Azam’s visual perception within the present available infrastructure and resources.
Prominent advertisements appear in newspapers luring the students and parents for extra-tutoring classes in the evening, offering reduced fee structure.
Concerns are being raised by the parents regarding unnecessary teaching in the evening after regular sessions in the morning.
In fact, extra-tutoring has emerged as a booming industry in Pakistan which has multifaceted growing problems for the parents.
We must look for ground reasons; firstly, our teachers have low salaries to cope with the sky-high prices; hence they are looking for alternate source of income; secondly, the poor families with meagre income cannot pay the double fees, especially being charged by the Private, English Medium and Cadet schools while mediocre families cannot think of sending their children in such schools.
Hence, they look for cheaper schools in the evening. It has been observed by the parents that the students of elementary classes commonly suffer from abnormal behaviour from heavy bags and extra burden of school work and they mostly see their lethargic behaviour.
Some of our schools have reduced the teaching work in the morning session to encourage them for the evening classes, resulting in increased economic pressure for the parents.
As such, the students are deprived of their week-ends, holidays and extra-curricular activities which are very important for the normal development of their physical and mental faculties.
Moreover, the students do not get time to relax and enjoy with friends and family members.
Parents have a wrong notion that their children will lag behind if they do not attend evening classes to compete for a better position for admission to premier institutions for better prospects in future career.
Hence the innocent children are kept busy solving old university papers and they spend sleepless nights to gain more marks.
In fact, they should go to bed by 8.30 p.m., to get enough sleep and be afresh in the morning.
We have also noticed that most of the students spend their time on computers and mobile phones and do not eat properly without the help of computer games and run for the school in urgency.
Hence, constant use of these devices has adversely affected their eye-sight and over 50% of the children in urban areas are using myopic glasses.
Their behaviour with the parents, teachers, class fellows and the family members remains absolutely bullish because they remain tense all the time.
Some students are severely beaten, especially in non-urban areas resulting in serious injuries even leading to death due to poor academic performance and lack of interest in completing their home-work.
Lately, online tutoring classes have also emerged after pandemic with reduced attention to regular teaching.
Actually, we lack the understanding of the real life challenges, problems of the modern generation which push them into turmoil.
The harassment cases are mostly due to lack of mutual sharing with the family, these innocent children are being molested and abused sexually and even massacred.
There could be many other reasons but this is one of the main reasons that the children lack a close relationship with the family.
No doubt, there are certain difficulties for the poor families that children are studying and working at the same time purely for economic reasons.
In fact, the system needs complete overhauling with revolutionary steps by the Government.
Therefore, it is important to improve the salary of the teachers to make them financially independent.
We have gained higher qualifications in other countries as normal students, now shouldering responsible positions in Pakistan.
We never had extra-tutoring in their institutions except in a few research positions that too for a very limited period.
Parents have also observed that our students are over-burdened with heavy bags which can be lessened through brooding over the problem of uniform curriculum all over the country with affordable fee structure for both rich and the poor.
In this context, the Government has already established PEIRA – A Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority to streamline the problems but PIERA has failed due to lack of clear policy.
In summary, teachers are the backbone of a nation.We need to take solid measures for promoting quality education.
Hence, the Government should enforce tougher regulations to curtail the burden of extra-tutoring and last of all the Government should revise their salaries with fringe benefits as compared to other professions.
The teaching schedule should be trimmed in such a way that the students get enough time for extra-curricular activities, necessary for their physical and mental development and no compromise should be made on it.
——The author is a retired Professor and Eye Surgeon from Rawalpindi Medical University.
He is also a hon Professor of a Tianjin University of China.