In the market where students are consistently pushing their investments – both of time and money — the craze for government jobs is highest ever. The students who are preparing for IAS are not far behind—they stretch their study time to 18-20 hours, miss their food, usually stay alone, spend their parent’s hard-earned money, and at the end, most of them, evidently, fail to clear. The failure is usually, in most cases, is not due to the lack of demanding work, but due to a cutthroat competition and a limited number of seats, let alone the lack of right guidance.
It’s true, that for any industry to flourish—people should be blackened, lured with dreams, and put in a tunnel where they could only smell the good side of life, and UPSC preparation industry has done the exact thing. If a book is ever written on defining the preparation education industry, it might start with certain acknowledgements.
We all must acknowledge if we can imagine the realities of this crude industry, that behind the stash of money, there are tens of thousands of young students. These students relocate themselves into so-called educational hubs, spend fortunes to get the basics and some course material, and still fail to find their place in the list of successful candidates.
Where is this leading us?
The current system of education in this country is not just bad for the students who have been in the university, but also bad for the drop-outs who are now overlooked for jobs that didn’t even require a degree in the first place. It’s almost shocking today, to mention there were positions in the market that didn’t require degrees – banking, teaching, writing, security forces, defense – all these today are flooded with degree holders. Therefore, for the very similar reason, it’s not a surprise to see the overflow in the number of applications in UPSC.
We agree, that hard work does pay off, leading to a higher success rate with a ratio 2:1, when compared to the students who don’t join a coaching institute. But, according to the records, we have found no fewer than a handful of coaching centers with an acceptable average success rate.
Who are these self-proclaimed coaching institutes? So as not to embarrass them, we haven’t been given the answer. And this problem, of self-proclaimed institutes, perfectly encapsulates our new education system. It’s not a secret that it’s not a proper market. Students who join these institutes certainly pay the fees, but at the consumer end, they have no way of knowing what they’re getting. The reason they are so believable is that most of these institutes are egged by famous personalities and government ministers; who always say these institutes are worth it. But recently, not long ago, the truth has gone upside down. It’s true that these coaching institutes have produced the number of heroes, but at the same time, they have produced villains, and in greater numbers. And, looking at the admitted it’s scandalously hard to define who will become who.
Half of the students, who get out of these institutes get stuck with the non-graduate jobs after leaving these coaching institutes. You shouldn’t get confused with the success rate of these institutes – nor to the halo that surrounds it, rather, you should see if you can practically afford them or not. Evidently, only a few years old, yet a crashing market, we should ask ourselves; if 2 lacs-a-year fee for coaching is worth for the value you’ll get.
A third of students regret joining a coaching institute, and more than half say that they would have chosen a different course, perhaps a different exam — had they known what situation they are putting themselves in. Then, there is the same proportion of students that describe their annual fees—a very poor value for money. Behind these observations, there are uncountable students who have been lured with fancy dreams and then pushed into debts; inescapable circumstances.
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But, what is the solution?
- We can’t neglect the fact, that most students are vulnerable and need proper guidance to prepare for IAS. Having said that, we know, that avoiding these institutes is not the solution—rather choosing the right one is.
- Another solution is to be aware and conscious of what we are buying.
- Another is to conduct certain studies on every course, so, the students can see ‘what’ and ‘how’ certain courses help them. What we need is to have a better disclosure with students—tell them more about the courses.
- With new courses coming every week and launching new batches every day, this mass-production industry still looks horribly uncertain. But, the real mark of success, is to find out how many of these students will find their investment worthwhile, being the first to pay such prices for tuition.
The right thumb rule, if you’re looking to join an institute, is to go for the most prominent one. And still, even after reading all the statistics, do your research, talk to other students, find what’s best for you. Because at the end of the day – you do not want to be the part of this mass production machine. A machine that mostly produces, contrary to their promises, non-IASs.
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