To coach or not to coach
I am not one for coaching classes. Especially if one is a dedicated and disciplined student.
However, the recent tragedy of the coaching class in Surat, brought back memories of my own tryst with them.
My younger daughter Anna Shetty left a perfectly good school in Class 10 ( after the ICSE) to join a perfectly good college. Her logic was that children from ICSE schools didn’t get time to study for the medical college entrance examinations hence it was better to go to a regular college. Further, she argued the system was not geared for ‘scoring’ in the entrance tests.
But having joined the college she needed to go for coaching classes because only coaching classes ensured good scores.
So began the search for good classes.
There are millions of classes in Mumbai – classes for almost everything. And they are all over the place.
But how did we choose a good class? After all, apart from the assurance of good scores, we also had to take location and personal safety into account.
A class to learn about boys ?
No! Stupid ! I could imagine the teacher telling me and spelling it out for me : B I O L O G Y boylogy!
The class was in a posh locality but in a run down building .
When I went with Anna Shetty to check out the class Mrs D proudly claimed that every prominent doctor in the city had coached with her!
I was relieved to hear that. No hitch so far.
However, four classes down I was horrified to hear that the classes weren’t exactly above board .
In order to deal with the contingency of a raid, the children were to ‘hide’ in the adjoining room behind the cupboard. She even had a mock test just to ensure that the children knew the drill.
“How would she explain a roomful of desks and chairs though?” I asked Anna Shetty .
“Oh ! Teacher will explain that this was her set up for the babies she often baby sat.
Luckily there was no raid the year that Anna Shetty was with her.
Even though maths wasn’t exactly a subject for qualifying for the medical entrance tests, the PCMB score was important.
There was one maths class at one end of Bhaji gully but the teacher was rude and insulting to the boys and a creepy lech with the girls . So this naturally ruled him out .
Luckily we found Mr B, a kindly Parsi gentleman who gave private tuitions.
Just off Bhaji gully in a dilapidated building was Mr K’s Chemistry class . It was next to a chicken shop and during the rains when Nana Chowk would flood up, Anna Shetty had to wade through waist high water avoiding the floating claws and chicken heads.
By the time she found her physics class I was prepared for another hole in the wall. This one was on the third floor of an old building with a rickety staircase and hanging wires. The locality was pretty dodgy so I would insist on picking her up especially when it got dark.
That one year was harrowing for me as a mum. The classes would sometimes end at as late at 10 in the night and Hubby Dear and I would fetch her .
Of course , she did become a doctor but I doubt the coaching classes had anything to really do with it .
So for medical college I refused to send her to coaching class and my decision was proved right.
Eventually a coaching class at best ensures just a mark or two extra if all, so is it worth the risk ?
I don’t think so.
My heart goes out to all those parents who lost their children in the Surat Coaching Class tragedy. And I shudder to think of what PTSD the survivors are going through.
I only hope they achieve their dreams and put this horrific incident behind them .
What is your opinion on coaching classes?