Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dilip D'Souza's Expose of Kota's IIT Factories

And this is where Dilip D'Souza writes a brilliant expose about Kota's coaching institutes that churn out IIT entrants like flour from the flour-mill (Sorry for the bad simile, but not in the mood today. Somethings aren't going as expected. Maybe, we should tell you about our problems, but we stand the risk of being ridiculed, made fun of. That's another thing to agonise over.)

Witty, ironic, as ever. I am a great fan of his writing. Here's a sample.

This is a place for schools. When students come to Kota to work towards the IIT exam, they still have to sit for their 12th Standard board exams. For that, you can enroll in a school at home, or in one of several Kota schools. Rushika, for example, was officially a student at A's Saint Steward Morris Convent School in her hometown, Bhilwara. Her two friends were enrolled in two Kota schools, but neither could tell me their names. 
Puzzled by this stuff—that Rushika was enrolled in a school hundreds of miles away, that her pals could not remember their schools' names—I walked one morning into one such school, in Talwandi. A man ushered me straight into the principal's narrow office. From behind a desk that seemed to fill the room, he told me all I needed to know: annual fees 35,000, admission guaranteed as long as you are admitted to one of the coaching institutes, attendance required once a week. 

The article raises a lot of issues, we think. Such as: 
Is education for knowledge and betterment of society, or only to attain enough marks to enter IIT? 
Can knowledge be handled by a group of hack tutors? 
What does it say about the nation? 
Can you expect an IIT graduate to be a polished and smart Indian as was supposed, not long ago? 
Can education be degraded to the state of a nut-and-bolt industry?
Can the government afford to invest so much on IITs when primary and secondary education are suffering?
Shouldn't the IIT coaching factories be closed down?
And above all, are they paying any taxes?

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here.

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