New Delhi: With hundreds of residential coaching institutes and dummy schools mushrooming across the country based on the ‘Kota model’ and students dropping out of school after class 10 to prepare for engineering and medical entrance exams, school education secretary Thursday expressed concerns over “pressure” on the students and how they have little to no time for recreation.
Shri Sanjay Kumar Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, said, “Look at the kind of pressure coaching has brought about, we often don’t talk about it. But I guess we need to talk about it… Is Kota the model for the country?”
“If Kota is the model for the country, then where is the joyful learning? Where is the time to be able to absorb the good things that are coming to us?… Children are not coming to school. They are joining dummy schools where attendance requirements are taken care of,” he added.
Dummy schools are schools that provide the regular passing certificate and mark sheet without students having to attend classes. These schools also make arrangements for students to appear for board exams as private candidates.
CBSE chairperson Nidhi Chhibber was also present at the meeting held to discuss progress and challenges faced over the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP) launched in 2020.
Of 60,000 principals and school officials who joined the live interaction through the CBSE YouTube channel, 250 from Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) region were physically present at the event.
Several school principals raised issues over how the introduction of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) has “diminished the value of school education” leading to students dropping out of schools and joining the dummy schools and coaching centers.
Last year, the University Grants Commission launched CUET — to create a level-playing field to overcome the problem of soaring cut-offs— as a common gateway for undergraduate admissions in all central universities and other institutes.
Kota is Rajasthan’s residential coaching hub where over one lakh engineering as well as medical aspirants come each year to prepare for the Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Exam (IIT-JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The trend of coaching which started in the 1980s is now reportedly a whopping Rs 6,000 crore business.
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