How Kota’s coaching centres drive students to depression, suicide

Why do coaching institutes charge Rs 2.5 lakh for the notes made from NCERT books worth Rs 250? Why no authority has ever gone and checked how coaching centres in Kota are discriminating against students on the basis of their performance and placing them in top-grade and below-grade batches?

These are some questions being raised by one Vinay Tiwari who is delivering free-of-cost coaching to around 5 lakh students via digital mediums after he himself faced the blues while being a student at a Kota coaching back in 2013-14.

“In 2013-14, I was one among those who took coaching in Kota,” Tiwari said. “The situation was pathetic there as discrimination on performance ruled the roost. Those who were good at studies were given the best teachers and best batch while those who were poor in studies were given admission to below-par batches.

“These were the students who had come to Kota after overcoming serious financial challenges, their parents had taken loans from private lenders at high-interest rates. Also, they (parents) put pressure on their wards to secure good marks and hence such students collapse under pressure – emotional and financial – while studying in Kota.”

Tiwari said that there are “clear instructions from the government that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the IIT-JEE syllabus should be based on the NCERT textbooks, which are available for Rs 250. Now, why these coachings charge whopping Rs 2.5 lakh for these courses is a billion dollar question”.

He further said that “almost all coaching have a fee of Rs 1.5 lakh for a duration of 7-8 months. They (students) spend around Rs 2 lakh on their hostel fees and food. However, even after spending 3.5 to 4 lakh, the pass percentage is just 1-2 per cent”. “Just 20,000 to 30,000 students qualify the entrance tests while others consider themselves as failures,” he added.

“Another challenge posed by the coaching institutes here is of poster boys. The posters of top rankers are put up across cities and these are the students who are paid by coachings to get into the coaching. They in fact need no coaching. This in fact deceives aspirants as well as parents and thus (this practice) should be stopped at the earliest,” Tiwari asserted.

Recently, a student preparing for the NEET was found hanging in his hostel room. This was the fourth case of suicide within 10 days. So far in 2022, 15 students have committed suicide in Kota.

The deceased Aniket Kumar (17) was a resident of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. He was preparing for NEET from a private institute in Kota and was living in a hostel. One afternoon, Aniket’s brother called him multiple times, but he did not take up the call. Later, when the warden and other students in the hostel checked Aniket’s room, they found him hanging from the ceiling fan.

Aniket’s brother Abhishek said that his younger brother was preparing for NEET in Kota for three years. He was admitted here in Class 11th.

Based on initial investigations, the police said that the reason for the extreme step seems to be stress.

Earlier, on December 11, three students committed suicide. Two of them were from the same hostel.

Two students who committed suicide were preparing for NEET while one student was preparing for IIT. Of these, two students were from Bihar and one student was from Madhya Pradesh.

Soon after, a guideline was made ready and coaching institutes were asked to implement it, however, the suicide of another student raised many questions about the lapses plaguing the education system in Kota.

20221225-082401

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