Do schools guarantee a future for students who attend them? Well these students who also attend tuition classes get a guarantee from these tuition masters that they’ll have a bright future.
These assurances make tuition classes call the shots. There are occasions when students opt for seminars at tuition classes even if they have to cut school.
Hence Sabaragamuwa Governor Dhamma Dissanayake taking steps to monitor tuition classes and curtail advertising of such classes near leading schools doesn’t come as a surprise. Dissanayake in a recent interview with the media said that he would take necessary steps to check on the quality of teaching at these institutes and also look into the safety of these children in such environments.
- But what keeps these masters in business is that they let the results of students do the talking for them
- Very few teachers can make a child concentrate and also make someone calm and quiet
- The tuition business thrives because tuition masters are vigilant about their students’ progress
The Ministry of Education will always encourage school education while promoting its policy ‘the best school is the closest school to home’. But parents know that attendance drops to a minimum as a habit at school weeks before a term test. Some mothers encourage children to opt for tuition classes when such sessions clash with school work in the classroom.
Dissanayake has said that in future arrangements would be made for all tuition classes to be registered with the Provincial Ministries of Education. The governor has said that his focus would be on tuition classes which are situated in the vicinity of schools in the Kegalle and Ratnapura Districts.
Educational qualifications not mentioned
If there is any little concern about these tuition masters it is that some of them don’t mention their educational qualifications in their handbills and billboards. In some of the posters which advertise their classes the institutes which gave these tuition masters their degrees are not mentioned. But what keeps these masters in business is that they let the results of students do the talking for them.
Teachers in schools approach teaching as a service; hence the present day teachers have their limits when dealing with children. But on the contrary private tuition masters look at the whole thing from a business perspective and go out of their way to make the children perform and their parents happy.
There is also this success factor associated with private tuition masters who drive into these institutes in SUVs or the most expensive vehicles. This aura of success has the effect of casting a spell on students because this is an era where success is measured by money and the marks obtained at the exam.
Very few teachers can make a child sit and concentrate and turn someone from being an agitating child to someone calm and quiet who doesn’t disturb others. In today’s society personality traits don’t matter and even a hyper active kid obtaining good grades is a celebrity at school or at the tuition class. The bottom line is that if the child needs to be disciplined he is sent to school and the education part is done at the tuition class.
Dissanayake has said that in future arrangements would be made for all tuition classes to be registered with the Provincial Ministry of Education. The governor has said that his focus would be on tuition classes which are situated in the vicinity of schools in the Kegalle and Ratnapura Districts
Then the authorities have to consider the remuneration for teachers who slog at schools. Recently there was a protest by the Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union where its members wanted to meet the Education Minister and discuss some of their problems. But before that they also staged a protest in front of Isurupaya. This protest was disturbed when the police tried to disperse these teachers. There were also some teachers who were injured when garbage parcels were thrown at them. The Minister of Education not wanting to meet them underscores the fact that the government authorities don’t see eye to eye with these teachers.
In this backdrop the Ministry of Education plans to set up smart schools in the island. According to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe these e-schools will help fulfill the need for students to be prepared for the future.
Another concept that would make classroom education at schools a viable option is the Government introducing a vocational approach to education through its ‘13 Years Guaranteed Education’ programme.
This programme was launched under the patronage of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and State Minister for Education Vijeyakala Maheswaran at Temple Trees recently. According to the programme students attending schools are guaranteed education for 13 years. During the final two years of education where they study for their A Level Examination they can select from 26 vocational subjects on offer. To make the programme a success the Ministry of Education has implemented this programme in 196 schools with the help of 1150 graduate teachers. The government authorities in the future plan to recruit 5100 trained teachers to implement this programme in 660 more schools.
Such novel ideas if properly implemented with the help of competent, trained and dedicated teachers can make the classroom the place pursue an education instead of these tuition classes. The tuition business thrives because tuition masters are vigilant about their students’ progress and can even predict the nature of the question paper before a government examination.
Recently the government gave permission for private schools to open up as many as five branches. But there was opposition to this from opposition MP and former Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardene who warned that such a move would have a detrimental effect on free education in the island. It’s strange to note that Gunawardene, who thrived in the tuition business himself, has opposed the move to expand private education opportunities.
Coming back to Sabaragamuwa Province Governor Dissanayake wanting to curtail the tuition business in Sri Lanka one must laud his intention to ban tuition classes on Sundays. This day is considered as a sabbath day or rest day and most religions encourage devotees to set aside the day for religious activities. Children too should spend time on reflecting within and see how they have progressed spiritually. What other day is better for this than Sunday?