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Sibal's Class X plan spells bad news for tutors

NEW DELHI: The Class of 2010 may turn out to be an affliction for private tutors as they stand to loose their day jobs. If the government goes ahead  
with its proposal of scrapping the class X board exam, several freelancers like Sumit Garg may see a major erosion in their personal incomes. 

Thirty-two-year old Sumit Garg has been providing home tutorials in Maths and Science to class IX and X students for the last eight years, earning anywhere between Rs 25,000-Rs 40,000 per month. His income from tuition had helped him repay his home loan and buy a car. 

But now, he fears his income may dip to one-third of what it was earlier. He is not alone. There are many freelance tutors for whom the writing is on the blackboard, if the government chooses to scrap the board exam or make it optional. 

“Tutoring charges depend on a number of factors such as the subject to be taught, locality, class standard and goodwill of the tutor himself. A home tutor can earn anywhere between Rs 250-1 ,000 an hour from a student for home tuition or private lessons ,” says Sumit, who quickly realised that there is more money in giving individual private lessons than teaching a batch of 20-25 students at a time. 

A classroom or batch-tutoring could have got him anywhere between Rs 500-1 ,200 per month per student. Tutors whom ET spoke to also said that Maths and Science are the two subjects at the Class X-XII level, for which many students seek tuitions . Besides these, Class X students also seek tutoring in subjects like Social Science, Hindi and English. 

“Even if a student is bright, parents would want him/her to seek tui-tions for at least a couple of important subjects . In a competitive environment, nobody wants to take chances with their child’s future. Board exams are a difficult time for both parents and children ,” says Rekha Menon, a Delhibased mother of a Class X student. 

However, if the Class X CBSE exam is scrapped, Ms Menon thinks that many students and parents will be relieved . In fact, this was probably the basic idea behind National Council of Education Research and Training’s (NCERT) suggestion for such ex-amination reforms. 

“Sleepless nights over Class X examination are not required. We will reform it and make the Class X examination optional. We should not traumatise education. It is unacceptable,” human resource development minister Kapil Sibal had said. 

The National Advisory Committee on ‘Learning Without Burden’ is also of the opinion that Board examinations , taken at the end of Class X and XII have remained rigid, bureaucratic, and essentially uneducative.

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