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Tuition centres - a thriving business

ISLAMABAD, Aug 28: Going for tuition after school or college is fast becoming a common trend among students.

The situation has led to the mushrooming of private tuition centres throughout Islamabad. These centres are doing a good business because of poor teaching standards in government institutions.

But there are people who send their children to these centres because they are busy with professional responsibilities or are not qualified enough to help their children in doing homework.

Some students take private tuition throughout the year and some take tuition when exams are near. No doubt, there are some good tuition centres too in the city, which are known for quality education and facilities.

But the general impression is that a large majority of these centres are opened to make fast bucks and are opened not to help students prepare for their exams.

We visited some tuition and coaching centres in various sectors and met with students and teachers. Some allowed us to report their names, while some spoke on condition of anonymity.

Teachers of government schools or colleges run most of the centres. Some university students and even government employees do this part-time job to meet their expenses.

Some centres are run by people who are not employed elsewhere while some centres are owned by a single man.

A few of these centres also offer home tuition but charges are exorbitant. Therefore, parents prefer sending their children to tuition centres instead of hiring a home tutor.

Normally, tuition centres charge Rs 400 to 1,000 monthly from each student for one subject and offer some concession in case of the entire course, which takes months to complete.

Most centres promise parents that their children would pass exams with good marks.

When asked Muhammad Mushtaq, who teaches at a tuition centre in G-10 Markaz, whether taking tuition was a trend or need, he said tuition was a need which helped students stay in tune with their studies.

He said the standard of government schools was so low that parents sent their children to tuition centres, where proper courses are prepared and which are repeated before the exams. As a result, students secure good grades, he added.

He said students were taught in an easy and informal manner and individual attention was given to each student. He said students were also given help material by the tuition centres.

Mumtaz Begum, a housewife, said she needed tutor for her children because teaching methods in their school were not up to the mark. "I and my husband both are too occupied with our jobs to teach our children, therefore, we have arranged a tutor for them. I know many families who are not much educated send their children to private tuition centres," she said.

A teacher of the F-7/2 FG College for Women, Islamabad, said more and more students were taking tuition because their parents' income had increased over the years. She said those running coaching centres were not teachers but businessmen and that such people had nothing to do to with education.

They have opened these centres because it's a profitable trade, she said, adding that these centres had brought a bad name to the teaching profession.

She said if the government ensured quality education in public schools, there would be no need for after school tuition, as in the past students did exceptionally well without going to any tuition centre. Daily times
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