ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Killing Children of the Middle Class

The pressure to "crack" entrance exams to elite institutions is taking an unaffordable toll.

The frenzied competition for entry to the elite engineering and medical colleges has begun to receive some public attention at last. The preparation for the all-important “entrance” exam can start from as early as middle school and leads to practices that are almost gladiatorial in that they compel pre-teens and teens to constantly strive to get the better of each other.

The initial focus is on joining coaching institutions which claim to know how to train students to succeed in the entrance tests to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the top medical colleges. In the past couple of decades, coaching classes seem to have overtaken the mainstream institutions of learning as being the most sought after. Every city and town in the country can boast of such institutes but none can equal the unhealthy reputation that Kota in Rajasthan has earned for itself. Every year an estimated 1.25 lakh students go to Kota’s coaching institutes to “crack” the entrance to top institutions.

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