Students opting for tuitions double in Karnataka after Covid | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: In yet another effect of pandemic on schoolgoing children, the number of students in Karnataka taking paid private tuitions have doubled from the pre-Covid times, said the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021 released on Wednesday.
According to the report, 10.7% of the children enrolled in schools were taking private tuitions in 2018. The figure dipped to 8.4% in 2020, possibly due to the lockdown. However, ASER 2021 shows that the number is at 20.5% now, a growth of around 10 percentage points.

ASER 2021 was conducted in September-October 2021 when schools were starting to reopen and among 1.9 lakh households and 11,545 schools through phone calls.
Nationally, the report noted that tuition classes were more common among children whose schools were still closed at the time of the survey. Across India, children taking tuitions in classes 1-5 has increased from 24% to 37%. In classes 3-5, it is 39% and classes 6-8, it is 39% and others is at 41%. Around 40% of government school children and 38% of private school children take tuitions.
In South India, the prevalence of tuitions was mostly in Kerala at 28%, which dropped to 19%.
Tuition creates unnecessary competition, says expert
Tamil Nadu was 14% (now 17%), Maharashtra 14% (now 20%), Telangana 6% (now 10%) and Andhra Pradesh 15% (now 23%).
Except in Kerala, tuitions have grown across all states, which the report said is a natural response to prolonged school closure. “It is curious that while economic disruptions may have moved children out of private schools, parents were still able to access tuitions where they had to pay fees. This may be due to the fact that tuition classes are a local phenomenon where payment may adjust flexibly and quickly based on demand and supply negotiated between the tutor and the family… The decisions to open or shut government schools are taken by authorities at district or state level with school teachers having no say in when or how school reopening can happen. But for the tuition sector, all decisions are local, flexible and can be immediate; these classes open or shut easily responding instantly to local conditions with different waves of the pandemic,” said the report.
Across the country, there is a 11-percentage-point growth in children taking tuitions. Among the southern states, Karnataka had the highest growth in this section and stood 11th overall.
Educationists in the state echoed the reasons stated by the report. “Left with no choice, parents had to choose tuitions so that children do not lose out on studies. However, tuitions are not a healthy trend. It puts the focus only on exams and defeats the purpose of education as a goal. It creates unnecessary competition, while the important goals of schooling like socialisation are forgotten,” said VP Niranjanaradhya, educationist.
Trend across states


The report indicates that in states like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, tuition-taking was low in the past. In contrast, in the eastern states like West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha, going to tuition was common even in lower grades. In 2018, 50% of children of school-going age in Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal were taking tuitions. Now, it is 60% in Odisha and over 70% in Bihar and West Bengal.

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Sagar Biswas

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