Kota, an otherwise dull town in Rajasthan, is best known for two things – JEE coaching and the high suicide rate of youngsters studying in the coaching institutes there. But that’s set to change. The Government of India is encouraging technology in all the fields, including education. With the rising of EdTech in India, we are sure it will cater to students who need the extra push, rather than have them submit to the coaching factories of Kota, which have become notoriously synonymous with the suicide rates of IIT aspirants.
Live online tuitions are the easiest solution to the menace created by the tuition and coaching industry in India over the time, which requires children as young as 11 to travel hours to attend lectures that are supposedly JEE focussed. Is it imperative that students take such coaching at all in the first place? That’s not easy to answer. But is it possible to reduce the burden created by the brick-and-mortar institutes? Absolutely yes! Digitization of the learning process is possibly the biggest leap in the education sector, and likewise, it is so in the unorganized Indian tuition sphere as well. Students can opt for live online tuitions rather than travel great distances. Also, the biggest advantage with such a service is of customizing the tutoring as per the needs of the student. During a live online tuition, a teacher interacts with a student real time and can see the facial expressions as in any offline class. The teacher can easily depict if the student is following what he/she is being taught and can change the teaching methodology accordingly.
At present, the industry is very limited in its scale in the market. Also, there is a whole lot of behavioral change required in the area from both parents’ and students’ side. Firstly, parents prefer the tried and tested methods of extra classes. Parents are the last ones to even try something remotely seeming to be a new concept in the market as they think it would be risking their child’s ‘career’ (assuming that cracking an exam builds a career, an idea that’s questionable). Also, students themselves might lack confidence, as is the case with anyone who veers off the beaten track!
Secondly, and significantly, parents believe online tuitions and the distracting online social media will be tough to keep separate for a student enrolled in such a class. Facebook, Quora, YouTube, etc., are huge distractions that interfere in any student’s productive good day. As most of the parents are themselves guilty of logging into Facebook ‘only for two minutes’, after which they end up spending close to two hours on it. No wonder they’ll think such an environment is toxic for serious studies. But, it is also true that there are N number of apps available for students that can help in blocking such websites during their study time. It’s not impossible, and such restraint is also built-in features in some online tuitions provider platforms.
Thirdly, parents believe that personal touch only comes when the teacher is teaching face-to-face and this will be absent in online education. Live online tuitions are here to change this perception. As we said before, a live online tuition happens between a tutor and a student real time and although the teacher is sitting miles away from the student, but teaches the student as he/she is sitting right next to him/her. Studies show that a student is at more ease in interacting with an online tutor than the teacher face-to-face. And, online classes can be more flexible in terms of time & schedule.
Last and most importantly, the lack of peer pressure might deter students from staying at home and preparing. This is especially so for students who ‘drop’ a year to prepare for exams. But even this can be countered. Students will have enough peer pressure in school after all! And in the case of students who drop a year, they can actually have a study group on online tuition portals where they find like-minded students who are preparing for similar examinations and can collaborate often to learn from each other, compare assessment scores and exchange notes. Do you still think this is a deal breaker?
How does an online tuition change the student-teacher dynamic? The lack of face-to-face rather the physical interaction between students and teachers is still a challenge that needs to be addressed by online tutoring platforms. Still, teachers are slowly and gradually moving towards this new form of technology-enabled teaching where they stand to gain more. In term of time saved and of course in monetary terms, as the platforms offering online tutoring services have little expenditure in comparison to their conventional counterparts (electricity bill, classroom rent, etc.).
All said and done, the online tuition phenomena is here to stay. It will! Maybe in the initial period, be a supplement to the conventional tuition classes/institutions (because we know that our parents prefer to be super secure). In the long term though, we envision online tuition to be becoming mainstream in the tuition market.
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