MUMBAI: Call it a case of sleeping with the enemy. Colleges and coaching classes have long been at loggerheads with each other but now, many of the
top institues for science have developed a symbiotic relationship with professional coaching classes that train students for the IIT joint entrance examination (JEE).
These coaching classes have started running special batches on college campuses, where they focus on the IIT-JEE. Students opting for this coaching, have to pay a few lakhs of rupees. “This arrangement benefits students. They don’t have to run from college to coaching classes as both facilities will be on the same campus,” says Pradeep Kulkarni, principal, DG Ruparel College in Matunga, which has signed an MoU with IITian’s Pace, a Mumbai-based coaching class. Kulkarni does not see any conflict of interest between institues and coaching classes. “Our teachers train students for the HSC as well as Maharashtra’s Common Entrance Test for medicine and engineering. But IIT coaching requires special techniques that colleges do not have,” he adds.
IITian’s Pace runs similar programmes at Sathaye College in Vile Parle and KC College in Churchgate. “We started this arrangement last year; 50-60 students opted for it. This does not interfere with the regular college syllabus. The coaching takes place from 7.30 am to 11.30 am, while our classes begin at 12.30 pm,” says Kavita Rege, Sathaye College principal.
The coaching usually takes place before or after college hours. But in some cases, it even takes place during college hours; college teachers teach students on three days of a week and the coaching class have their sessions for the remaining three days.
Two well-known tuition classes from Kota__Resonance and Rao IIT Academy__are now in the city. Resonance will begin integrated IIT batches in at least five institues, including Ruia College, Matunga, and Mithibai College, Vile Parle, and Rao Academy has done so with SIES College at Sion and Thakur College, Kandivli, among others.
Mithibai College principal Kiran Mangaonkar feel that such an arrangement may help stem the decline in attendance in junior college. “The coaching class will be allowed to train our students before college hours as well as on weekends,” he says.
Ruia College principal Suhas Pednekar iterates the fact that the teaching offered by the coaching classes is completely independent from what the college offers and is not compulsory for the students.
Jai Hind College, Churchgate, is in the process of finalising an agreement with an IIT coaching class. “Students find such an arrangement attractive, and this will result in less students bunking college to attend a coaching class,” says college principal Kirti Narain.
Some schools in Mumbai and Delhi, including DPS R K Puram, have similar arrangements. “We have experts who coach our students for the IIT-JEE after school hours,” says DPS principal Shyama Chona. R N Podar School, Mumbai, has tied up with IITian’s Pace and DAV Airoli has entered into an agreement with Rao Academy.
Hirandani School in Powai and Thane is considering the option. “We have asked for feedback from parents on whether they want IIT coaching on campus,” says Niranjan Hiranandani, school trustee.
“While we train students on math, physics and chemistry, schools and colleges provide students with communication skills, personality development as well as sports and other cultural activities. A combination of a school/college and a coaching class provides students with dual benefits,” feels B V Rao, director, Rao IIT Academy.
Praveen Tyagi, MD, IITian’s Pace, feels that such tie-ups between colleges and coaching classes are the future of education in India, as coaching classes fulfil a need that exists in society. “The day the government decides to invest more in education and pay teachers a decent salary, I would love to join the mainstream system of education,” says Tyagi.