Is education about serving the community or making a business?

Is education about serving the community or making a business?

October 17: “Does Business Have Any Business in Education?” an article from Harvard Business Review states. Is It Right for Business entrepreneurs to profit from education?, says another article from a national Indian Newspaper. With over 14 Lakh medical aspirants applying for NEET UG last year, it’s no wonder that multi-billion dollar enterprises are marketing their coaching enterprises to make it seem like they are the key to getting a medical seat. With NEET coaching centers charging up to Rs. 80,000 for preparatory courses, do these high fees guarantee high-quality education? Do these business entrepreneurs actually provide the skills and tools for students to get ahead in this highly competitive examination?

As our research shows, students from big brand coaching centers are able to solve less than 1/5th of daily practice questions given to them. However, as proven repeatedly, consistently practicing questions is the key to cracking this challenging exam. Huge coaching institutions charging unimaginable fees without providing top faculty members, up-to-date preparation materials, and individualized coaching and attention is the current reality. Most of these institutions opt for the age-old educational system where monotonous lectures are taught, students have weekly or daily practice tests and are sent home with practice MCQs, which usually don’t get solved due to lack of time after school and coaching. These practice MCQs typically are not provided with detailed answers and students can only assess themselves based on the regular practice tests.

There is no personal improvement or growth seen. This is what happens when business entrepreneurs focused on profit more than education quality and monopolize the market. “the catch-22 effects of inflexible bureaucracies, inane regulations, and incompetent administrators and union officials. In too many school districts, excellence survives despite the system, not because of it.” This can extend in truth to India’s educational system and coaching institutes as well. The article goes on to mention key organizational problems that are holding education behind. “With few exceptions, neither institution is successfully preparing people for the demands of the new industrial economy.” Says this account.

Likewise, such branded educational institutes not run by educators with experience, still use a study approach not adequate for today’s highly competitive atmosphere. In fact, many of the NEET UG toppers marketed to be from these institutions actually credit their success to alternate sources. Few ed-tech start ups such as PhysicsWallah and Basidia Learning are making headway into the new age of learning. Basidia learning, a practice substitute created by doctors, helps medical aspirants with their scientifically proven study approach. They emphasize consistent active learning and solving MCQs.

Their MCQs have a high likelihood of actually appearing on the final NEET UG exams. They also provide a detailed description of every question, easy to learn concepts made simple in their lessons, videos from top faculty, custom tests, and mock tests to assess and improve. The custom tests allow students to personally assess themselves and note their weaknesses and strengths. This allows students to personal growth, giving attention to the topics that need more focus. Aimed at helping students to study smarter, students can access this platform on-to-go via mobile, tab or desktop.

Not only does modern age technology allow students to save time and energy, but unlike other coaching institutes that separate students into classes and teachers according to their ranks, Basidia Learning allows all students to access education from top faculty members. These ed-tech platforms are also significantly lower priced than the branded coaching institutes. With educational platforms such as these giving importance to educational quality and helping students reach their maximum potential all at affordable prices, parents should think twice before entering big brand institutions. Most NEET toppers use online platforms such as these for their daily practice material.

With the newer age of education, advanced technology, and emerging educational platforms, students all over India can have access to high-quality NEET ug preparation material and have the potential to become the next NEET topper.

Alekh Kumar

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