In the good old days there were schools and children went there to study. Some schools were good and most schools were not so good. All parents wanted to put their children in the good schools, but there were not enough seats in those schools so most parents had to settle for the not so good schools. The closest they got to the good schools were the after school private tuitions that prominent teachers from these schools gave. This is how the idea of ‘private tuitions’ started.
Statistics tell us that schools have been shortsighted, in at-least one aspect. Ask a question to any prominent school in any part of the world – Who are your students? The answer would be – the ones who got admission in their schools, the ones who have paid their fee, and the ones who wear their school uniform. So their fame, legacy, impact etc. is actually limited to only those students who by sheer chance or fate got admission into those schools. Lets do a simple math, the average population of a good sized school would be about 1000 students, the number of students that graduate from the school in grade 12 would be about 100 every year. Even if a school has been in existence for a 100 years the number of kids who have actually been influenced by the school is just 10,000. This number is minuscule compared to the millions children out there.
What about the other children? the ones who did not get admission to these schools or the ones in the neighborhood or the ones in the not so good schools in the vicinity? Actually they never thought of those kids as an opportunity. This attitude among elite schools is universal and this created a gap for good quality education that remained unfulfilled. This vacuum was originally filled in by the neighborhood ‘tuition teacher’, in the good old days all famous ‘tuition teachers’ were from the good schools and the children from the other schools or colleges wanted to benefit from them. Over a period of time some of these ‘tuition teachers’ got entrepreneurial and started ‘coaching classes’. This has over the past 2 decades grown into one of the biggest educational businesses on the planet – ‘Coaching Classes’ or ‘Exam Machines’. The ground reality today is that the business of ‘Coaching Classes’ is so big and so profitable that the big group schools don’t match up to the valuation and turn overs of many such institutes.
Schools did not see an opportunity in the immense enthusiasm of parents to enroll them in their schools. They remained traditional, did not evolve and this allowed the education entrepreneurship to take root. In future if schools have to be relevant they have to reinvent themselves and move beyond the madness of academic grades. Schools have to look at children outside their walls as their concern and add value to their lives, this is a humongous opportunity waiting.