Decline in demand for private tuition in Kolkata this year

Decline in demand for private tuition in Kolkata this year: Private tutors

September 22, 2021
Mita Mukherjee

Demand for private tuitions in Kolkata has decreased in the current academic session 2021-22 and many private tutors in the city attributed the downward trend to the automatic promotion of school students, syllabus reduction by education boards and increasing financial constraints of parents.

Several private tutors said they were slowly getting to their feet during the unlock period after the Covid-19 outbreak and the lockdown that followed, but they are again finding it difficult to meet both ends due to the sharp drop in the number of students.

Tutors say they are noticing a decline in the demand for private tuition this year among students studying below class IX particularly those studying in the government schools for subjects like English and other languages such as Bengali and Hindi and also in history, geography, life science and physical sciences. Demand for home tuitions has also decreased among students of private schools affiliated to CISCE and CBSE boards. 

Tutors further said the demand for sciences and mathematics tuition is higher than social science subjects but much less compared to the previous years, the tutors said.

However, the demand has remained almost the same among students of class XII appearing for board exams and preparing for engineering and medical entrance tests.

Dependency on private tuition for better performance is common among students across all boards and parents want their children to receive tuition in multiple subjects, primarily for mathematics, science (physics, chemistry and biology) and English. Students aiming to excel in state and national levels medical and engineering exams are most inclined to seek private tuitions.

Soma Banerjee who has a master’s degree in English from Calcutta University and gives private tuitions to students studying between classes IX to XII in state Madhyamik, higher secondary and CISCE boards said the number of students availing her tuition classes has reduced by 30 to 40 percent this year. According to Banerjee, she has been in the profession for nearly 25 years but has never seen this trend before.

Citing an example, she said the CISCE council bifurcated the theory syllabus of class X and XII and announced that it will conduct two exams. The first-semester exam will be conducted in November on the portion of the syllabus specified for that period in the reduced syllabus of the 2021-22 academic year. The first-semester exam will be MCQ based and online. 

“Many of my students from the ICSE class X batch have said they won’t need the tuition as they can manage the reduced syllabus on their own. Many parents are going through financial problems and therefore they are not willing to pay an extra amount if home tutoring is not needed,” said Banerjee.

Shambhu Mitra, a private tutor who teaches physics said “There are students who have not cleared the tuition fees for seven to eight months. Some bright students in the class XII state higher secondary batch who are preparing for the joint entrance exams in engineering are wanting to quit the tuition classes as their parents are going through an acute financial crisis.”   

Subir Pal and Animesh Bhattacharya (name changed on request) who offer private tuition in science and social science subjects to students between classes VI and X said there is no proper monitoring of students’ academic progress in the government schools and promotions were granted without exams last year, this has caused students to refrain from private tuition. Both Pal and Bhattacharya teach in state-aided schools and teachers working in state-aided schools are not allowed to give private tuition in West Bengal.

Also read: 

72% RTE quota students in Karnataka attend private tuitions

90% failed candidates of West Bengal Higher Secondary declared pass

West Bengal government to recruit 32000 teachers: CM

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