Should I send my Child to Kota for IIT JEE Preparation?
This is a question that many parents are asking since Kota is getting attention for all the wrong reasons in recent times. Parents pressure, friends/ peers pressure, tests pressure, results pressure, extra classes on holidays pressure. Kota is not just a coaching factory but pressure cooker situation for IIT-JEE/ NEET aspirants. Some students, not able to handle this pressure, falls into depression, which leads to unfortunate incidents like suicides.
Why students in Kota feel the pressure?
Problem #1 Mentally not strong to handle the pressure.
Till class 10th, the science education is very basic and easy to understand for majority of the students. But when a student moves to class 11, there is a big transformation in the level of syllabus and students who are preparing for competitive exams like JEE/ NEET need to adjust to the difficulty level.
Living alone in Kota, staying away from family, sometimes it gets hard for these young students to cope up with the changes.
Problem #2 Partiality in coaching institutes.
The students who are coming to Kota are from different backgrounds. From rich and above average families to middle class households. When they study together and results are displayed, the peer pressure is tough to handle for the low background under-performing students.
Perks to Intelligent students – Top faculty, AC classes, separate vehicles, more focus on them. These are the students who will bring more business to coaching institute. It affects the psychology of rest of the students who gets below average teachers and less attention.
This partiality in coaching has a negative effect on some students minds.
Problem #3 It’s also a matter of return on investment.
This is what a student’s parents, both teachers at a local college in Udaipur, have spent over the basics of the Kota setup for two years: Coaching institute= ₹2,13,000; hostel= ₹3,36,000; dummy school = ₹60,000. Total= ₹6,09,000.
This expenditure can put extra pressure on the student to give result at any cost.
Problem #4 The dummy schools.
In Kota, some coaching institutes have dummy schools running parallel with coaching. Students who come to Kota typically enroll in a dummy school here, they don’t attend it, but these shell outfits (money) help ensure the paperwork required to progress through the school system till class 12, which is required to qualify for the entrance exam. There are hundreds of such schools in Kota.
A regular school allow students to get relaxed from intense JEE/ NEET studies for some time. They participate in different activities and it’s a great stress buster for students.
Problem #5 No personal counselling.
With all these students suicides in Kota, one thing is clear that teachers in the coaching are not taking a personal interest in an individual student. They are not monitoring the behavior of students. They are not identifying the signs of depression.
If coaching institutes starts focusing on personal counselling, we can definitely avoid these unfortunate incidents of students suicides in Kota.
Problem #6 Parents forced ambitions.
By seeing the successful children of neighbors or friends, some parents tend to see the same dream for their child. Getting into an IIT or top medical college is a big step towards achieving that dream. In some cases, the decisions are forced on the children.
Dheeraj Sanghi, Director of Punjab Engineering College (Former IIT Kanpur Professor), one of the well respected people in answering students queries, talked about parents dominating the decisions for students,
I reminded them that most of the suicides in Kota as well as many suicides in various IITs have been attributed to pressure from well meaning parents who loved their kids but didn’t realize when they crossed the line between advising and taking decisions on their behalf, particularly decisions that their wards did not like but had no courage to tell them so.
It’s not just about Kota. There are some new towns (like Sikar) which are slowly becoming coaching hub like Kota. While mainstream media only reports about suicides in Kota, if you read your local newspaper after the exam results like boards, you can find the similar incidents from your own city.
It’s all due to exam pressure, sense of failure, and not living up to the expectations.
Change of mindset is required to resolve the problem
The best thing to follow as a student is – To focus on effort and not the result. For many students, coaching/ preparation is a journey where they learn many things and their hard work can’t be neglected on the basis of low scores in some tests and exams.
As parents and teachers, it’s our duty to safeguard the children/ students who are stressed and we can do it by simple things like reaching out and having a friendly talk with them.
Message for students in Kota
Please remember – No exam is bigger than your life. Try hard but never give up.
You may think that you have not lived up to the expectations of your parents, but it’s not true. They just want to see you happy and successful in life. They want you to live your life.
Studying from a prestigious institute is an opportunity and it’s great if you get it, but if not, then there are plenty of other ways to succeed in life.
Fee spent and dummy school data source: Huffingtonpost
We’re listening to students.
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