Monday, 24 July 2017

Unreal Expectations from Students and failure of School Evaluation System, Importance of Home Tutor and my experiences

I am a tutor, working with Mera Home Tutor since 2013.In last 4 years, I have taught mathematics, science, physics and chemistry for Class 9 to 12. While working in Home tuition industry, I have experienced several aspects of education. I decided to share few of my experiences through Mera Home Tutor blog which may help students, parents and tutors. Here I am not going to share all of my experiences but will definitely share few.

Why all Students don’t top the Exam

There is a myth that each & every child can top the exam, if he or she does hard work and apply some innovative techniques or change his or her ways of studies. My experience suggests quite opposite to this and parents must understand this fact.
In last 4 years I have taught 100’s of students, some were very good in studies but some were very poor. I would like to mention here that many of hardworking students were not able to get good marks in exams. I was surprised by this that hardworking students are not able to score well in exam as I also always believed that hard work definitely earns good marks in exam.
So why a hardworking student is not getting good marks, this question puzzled me for long. I tried many ways, changed teaching methods but there was not a great improvement in the result of such students.
Over the period of time I learned that these students has the problem in understanding concepts, they were not able to grasp difficult concepts due to low IQ level , due to this fact their success was limited even after hard work.
Here I am trying to make a point that Intelligence play greater role in exam performance, I am not saying that hard work or teaching methods are not important, both are equally important but Intelligence has greater role to play as far as topping the exam is concerned.
There were some students who are spending less number of hours on studies but still getting good marks. Why?
Answer is simple, based on my experience they were intelligent enough to grasp difficult concepts in less time, therefore they required less number of hours of practice and it enable them to solve difficult questions in exam.
On the basis of this experience, I have piece of advice for parents that Our expectations must be real and we all must strive for better performance of students, not only exam but also in real life, so they must be in position to face real life challenge after schooling.

Importance of Home Tutor

As far as I see myself, I am a tutor cum coach. I have motivated several students to achieve good grades in exam and I have employed a customized method of teaching for particular students, as one should not apply a general method of teaching for all students. Each student has different ability to understand, & different ways to understand things.
Teacher can do miracle in the life of students, I mentioned above myself tutor cum coach, and so what is coach all about. Coach is someone who understands the student, uses tailor made methods of teaching and most importantly goes to understanding level of student & start teaching from there , that’s how student connect to the tutor. Therefore student start understanding things and consequently performance improved. From here, right motivation produces outstanding results and exponential change in performance.
I have come across several other teachers who were using single method of teaching on all students, therefore their success was limited.

Failure of School Evaluation System

In May this year, I came across of student who is studying at a school of repute (one of the best school in region). His parents got reference of mine from one of my previous student that I am a good teacher so they contacted me and I had a meeting with parents, they told me that student is outstanding, she is scoring like 98 Marks out 100 in mathematics, I was happy to know this as I will be teaching a very good students, as marks are  the reflection that student’ Intelligence and student is good in studies. Still I told the parents that I will judge the student within two or three classes & will give you a detailed feedback.
I arranged class for next day, within hour I concluded that student is not as good as marks, still I told myself that it will be too early to judge in first class, so let me take some more classes. After two or three class I was convinced that students is very poor in algebra but I am amazed by the fact that Student scored 98 Marks out of 100 in Mathematics and he does not understand basic concepts of algebra. I was wondering that how this is possible as basic algebra is taught from Class 6 to 8 in Schools and He passed these exams with distinction. 
I was puzzled and disturbed that a class 10 student does not know the algebra and he still got outstanding marks. First problem, I was facing that how to respond to parents as they will definitely ask about their child because my feedback will be going to contradict school marks.
I decided that it will be good to be straight forward that your child is not as good as marks because in India if student is getting like 98 Marks out 100 in Maths, first thing comes to parent’s mind is admission of their ward in IIT. Therefore it was necessary to tone down the expectations of parents otherwise six months later; they will blame me for the poor performance in competitive exams.
Well , first they did not believe me and start showing school’s answer sheets, I told them that I do not know that why she does not know algebra and still performing well in exam. Now it was very important for me to find the answer.
After week long brainstorming, I concluded that it seems that teacher in school was focusing on selected questions and student has mugged up those questions and he attempted & got almost full marks.
This is very disturbing for me as a teacher and parent that school evaluation system fail to identify that student is very poor in algebra; it is the failure of our schools, teacher at school and whole education system.
It shows that there is urgent need to change the system of evaluation of students, it is very important to identify the weaker areas of students at early stage of school education because at higher level education it become very difficult to improve the weaker areas.
So I have shared some of experiences as a tutor and I hope that it will be helpful for students, teachers and parents.

written by Abhi Bharadwaj

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Rural Education System in Shambles

When a child opens eyes in this world, their parents start dreaming and making effort for the better future of their child and evidently, so far education is a best and easiest way of doing it. But in rural India, there is a different story on part of both parents and role of education system. Here, I will emphasis on role of parents because of its social context, and education system.

Parents are first school, therefore educated parents and their understanding of the issues, play an important part in the children’s life. But it seems that first school in rural India is not good enough to help their children in their studies as parents are not well educated and they are not aware of that how education can change the life of their children, however it is not parents to blame for it, it is the poor education system and there is a social-economic context to be blamed. Therefore;   in rural India, a large number of parents are reluctant towards educating their children. There is a need to point out attributes which are responsible for not sending children to school and indispensable to highlight these factors since government is providing free education up to 12th standard in rural areas, still parents are not sending their children to school.

Parents believe that free education upto 12th standard is not enough, for their children to be employed and they can not afford higher education. And education system at the level of primary had not been efficient enough, therefore most of the students are not able to get through at 10th and 12th board exam and this fact is troubling and discouraging for most of the parents, lead to reluctance towards sending children to school. Parents think that it is a waste of 8 or 9 years as their children are not able to get through at 10th or 12th and instead of wasting time at school, it is better to teach the local skills or working in farm, so they can start earning at early age. Here it is very important to notice, poor education is more responsible than parents.

Now the question is, inspite of government effort as nearly 83% villages and 94% of the population has a primary school within a distance of one kilometre , what stopping children in rural India to get qualitative primary education. There can be so many factors but main factor is lack of competent and committed teacher, some secondary factors may be such as text books and access to technology. Teachers in primary school are not committed to teach students or they are not competent enough, they never come on time and no teaching classes. But amazing thing is, these schools have 100% passing rate and that continues to till 8th or 9th class, and while in 10th board exam, same students do not get through and it sends back a very negative message towards rural society and children.

However, having such a poor education system, there are few children get through 10th and 12th   exam and led  them to have access of further higher education, to become employable. As mentioned before, one who passed 12th is not skilled enough to be employed most probably. These few students anyhow complete their higher education and get employed but poor education remain liability for them all along their life. But upto some extent, they bring the positive message to the rural society and to their parents and encourage the society to send their children to school however number of such students are not much, so it do not have a very big impact on society.

Therefore poor education system has a direct impact on rural youth as poor education at primary level does not allow to access of higher education however fraction of youth get access of higher education but they remain less competitive. Consequently, this plight of rural youth has direct impact on rural economy, therefore, a large population in rural India still to get feelings that their country growing at rate of 8% or 9% or second fastest growing economy in the world.

Now the question is how to improve this poor education system, few things can be suggested as follows.

Firstly there is a need of efficient selection panel which make sure that competitive teacher have been selected to offer primary education, the reason to raise this point because in the absence of corruption free selection panel, one can not expect honest selection and it lead to incompetent selection of teacher.

Secondly, Government must set up performance based monitoring system, poor performing school should be penalised and performance measurement should be the performance of students in board exams, there can be some more parameters in addition to this but it needs a more depth analysis.

Thirdly, I see the a lots of good students end up with nothing in the absence of good guidance system, therefore government should set up guidance centre in rural areas blockwise or district wise and make sure can easily access by rural youth.

Having said that, there are some good sign for privilege section of the rural society towards education in rural India as private sector entering into education sector and they are helping few students from rich families since private education can not be afforded by each and everyone in rural India.

Lastly; government should concentrate on above recommendation to improve the health of public education system because large rural population do not have access to private education because of their economic conditions.