The booming private tutoring industry, known as ‘shadow education’, shows an alarming trend, according to a report promulgated by the ADB and the Comparative Education Research Centre. According to this report, an unaffordable $3.4 a month was the average expenditure on tutoring a child in Pakistan in 2011 — a staggering amount for a population residing in a Third World country — which in my personal opinion is far less than the actual costs.
Don’t you think it’s against sanctity of this holy profession of teaching and it leads to corruption? On other hand, as a result of this compulsory private tutoring, in many schools students commonly skip the classes or sleep through the classes because they are bound to attend the same lectures in the evening as well. So it creates a perceptibility among students that they don’t need to pay any attention to classes at school because they will learn the same stuff in private tutoring and also because they are tired after excessive external study. This murky situation makes it palpable that shadow systems makes regular education less efficient and it leads to corruption in a few cases. While the main purpose of private tutoring is to ‘price gouge’ the parents so we need to unchain ourselves from shackles of shadow education. Within the contemplation of above views and to save our students from being jeopardised, I would like to request policymakers to take a closer look at how shadow education affects family budgets, children’s time and the national education system. They are requested to focus on improvements in mainstream schools to reduce the need for private lessons, so that shadow education loses some currency and provides relief to parents.
M. JAZIB SAEED KHAN,
Lahore, July 18.