Early coaching: beginning or obstacle?
In class 9, Vikrant was named “national junior scientist”. Due to his keen interest in science, he was enrolled in a techno school and started studying for the coveted IIT-JEE exams. He was chosen from the “elite batch”, which included only the top performing students. It endured the rigors of engineering testing for a year and a half, but then grew weary. Eventually, he gave up his plan to become an engineer.
His parents and teachers berated him as he changed careers from science to the arts, saying wasting his gift for the arts was “a waste of his abilities”.
He adds that when children start to stray from the path their parents set for them, “it creates terror and anxiety in the parents.”
Vikrant, the son of a doctor, sowed the seed of scientific success early in his life. “The most prevalent societal lies nurtured these seeds – this joy is found in achievements, achievements and extravagant acclaim,” Vikrant added.
A recycled concept
Early supervision of children takes various forms. One of them is the flourishing trend of techno schools, where children are coached internally, starting in the 6th grade.
“Although the term ‘techno schools’ is new, it’s not really a new trend,” says Siddhant Pratap, a masters student and engineer based in Germany who attended one of these schools a decade ago, but without the label.
By definition, a tech school is equipped with the latest technologies such as projectors in classrooms, learning via laptops and tablets, etc., as well as traditional lessons. The teaching method is supposed to be more “effective” than regular schools.
The curricula of these schools give students a good foundation for the entrance examinations of IITs, NIITS, AIIMS, and other medical and engineering institutes. Students are not required to enroll in a separate coaching academy.
The right age to coach
Vishnu Narayan Rai is a member of the advisory board of a techno school in Bengaluru. He was a teacher and taught at IIT-JEE and medical examination students. “Children should start early to prepare for IIT-JEE/Medical exams in a country like India where competition is fierce. A few decades ago, students did not need so much help to prepare for these exams. Today, passing an exam is next to impossible if you don’t start early,” he says, pointing out that when a student’s ultimate goal is to pass the IIT exams, it doesn’t It makes no sense to attend school and train separately.
Dr. Sangeeta Gupta, principal of a CBSE school in Bengaluru, thinks otherwise. “We must not instill in young students this idea that they must devote all their attention only to studies,” she pleads. Rates of anxiety, depression and suicide increase as the standards of competition increase. These concepts were rare just three decades ago, but are now part of every student’s daily life. Students can ‘succeed’ in exams with the help of tech schools and coaching institutes, but the old-school approach to education is sound and brings out the best in students.”
Vivek Rai, who went through the rigors of preparing for several engineering exams for four years, is now an engineer. He speaks from experience: “When it comes to competitions, there is no fixed age at which a child should start studying. Eight years of preparing for a single exam and giving up your entire childhood is just plain weird. examination after only one year of study.”
“Entrance exams are only part of the battle; students also have to deal with the pressure of being accepted into these prestigious schools. A student who has been studying for eight years will inevitably burn out, even if the topic is interesting,” he adds.
He goes on to add, “I think class 11 is the perfect time to start. that the child is able to continue their studies.
Consulting psychologist Akshara Damle says holistic development should focus on the early years. With proper guidance, a child can follow the curriculum and pass the exam even if studying from grade 9 or 10, he says.
The wrong side
Kaushik Pandey, a class 10 student currently enrolled in a Bengaluru-based techno school, told DH: “I used to go to recreational classes during summer vacation until I’m in class 8, but I haven’t been able to devote much time to my interests since then. My parents and teachers warned me about the extension of the program in class 9, but I did not expect to whatever it is.
Nilay Kumar, PhD student and psychology expert, explains the changing nature of aspirations and how early mentoring in just one area could harm the child. “Dreams and aspirations are constantly changing. A student’s goal at age 15 is likely to change when they reach age 20. Failure can have a devastating effect on children. Enrolling a child in a coaching or tech school could harm their mental health.”
Kaushik says it’s impossible to dedicate time to sports or other recreational activities at this pace. “The monotony of my daily routine has exhausted me for the past two years,” he says.
Impact on life skills
Alka Rao, a guidance counselor based in Bengaluru, says that over the past decade she has been advising more and more students who want to drop out of science, “perhaps because of the idea of early coaching”.
Annapurna Adhikari teaches chemistry at a government school in Bengaluru, for grades 8-10. She believes students should enjoy their time at school because that’s when they find out who they want to be . Schools that focus solely on preparing students for industry reduce them to potential products for the job market, she says.
Damle says that while early coaching may seem like a good idea to make kids able to easily pass competitions, it will affect them in other ways as well. “Due to rigorous training from primary school, the child will not have time for the activities usually desired at this age. He will not have time to play or mingle with children and will become isolated without life skills like communication, leadership, negotiation etc.”
Devoid of all this, as adults, they will find it difficult to lead a fruitful life, to gel with others, etc., and therefore the basic human essence itself would be lost.