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Mr ram has this to say:

am apprehensive about students who think there is competition everywhere and failure to win the race is a disgrace. Expectations generated by the above mind set has disatrous consequences if they are not fulfilled. I am appalled by the notion among Indian students and their parents that so much importance is placed in getting ‘ private tutions’ to improve grades to fulfill their expectations. Little they realise that it is the individual’s endeavour which prepares an youngster for the life after ‘the private tutions’.

In my academic days in Mysore, I had a very good reputation as an academic and students flocked to me for tution in greater numbers. Once I had 30 students knocking at my door who were interested to improve their grades because the ‘world was competetive’! As some one who lost his father who was the sole breadwinner early in his teens, I knew the value of self-help and self- motivation, and learnt how ‘sweet are the uses of adversity’ ( Shakespeare). Hence i used to advise students that the situation they were in should be considered as adversity and they had to develop the will power to overcome it without my help. When students in the above numbers used to approach me, I used to try to advise them the value of self-help and effort which alone will stand in goodstead when they were ready to take up a profession. Many remained unconvinced, and to pacify them I used to give a few tution lessons to give them ‘a leg up’ and then send them away to begin the process of self-help. If I had taken all those students for tutions in order to help them to fulfill their expectations, I would have no doubt earned thousands of rupees. But I would have deceived them because I knew that not all of them will be able to achieve the grades they sought.

Many times students came equipped with the kind of influence which would make me flich. For example, I had students whose parents were members of parliament, home and health ministers in the then Mysore government and at one time my own university vice chancellor asked me to tutor his son and daughter! My bosses were afraid of me because they knew that I had ‘connections in the right places’. But I used to explain to these parents and students in vain the value of self-help and the necessity to temper expectations with reality.I hear from a distance that parents and students in India are using’ private tution’ as a tool to deliver their expectations which is very sad indeed. I also hear the mushroom growth of tutorial colleges that dish out unrealistic promises, and private tutors who the parents think can make the difference. Having said the above,’the private tution’ has a place in the life of youngsters whoare unfortunate to be born with disabilities and medical conditions which prevent them from achieving full potential. In my experience, such students immensely benefitted from my ‘private tutions’ (I hasten to add that I did not charge them any fee),and went on to beocme good professionals. All the others whom I gave ‘private tutions’ including the kids of rich and powerful, it did not make much difference in their professional lives in terms of them achieving good expertise in their professions. Although they became senior engineers and surgeons, the superb professional touch which self-help alone brings was absent in them. In their minds I am sure that they know this. There is always pride in knowing that the achievent is due to one’s sole effort and motivation.

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