Conundrum of FIITJEE coaching culture:
( by Sandeep Bhalla )
What is FIITJEE and what it does:
FIITJEE is a preparatory coaching institute. It has an excellent marketing model to sell its products even if its integrity in making the claims, it makes, is doubtful. FIIT-JEE is a commercial, private, limited liability company. It provides science and maths coaching to students from class 6th onwards to class 12th. It claims that it prepares children in class 6 to 8 for science and maths so that they may prepare for National Talent Hunt or Science Olympiad etc. As regards class 9 to 12, they are to be prepared for entrance examination for prestigious IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and JEE (Joint Engineering Entrance Examination) Govt. subsidized Engg. College. Those who want to pursue Medicine are switched to Biology after class 10. Though it claims that it’s study is integrated with CBSE i.e. normal school study, its effect is yet to be seen and felt.
Admission to FIITJEE:
Admission is said to be on the basis of an entrance test called FIITJEE Talent Reward Exam. It consists of three papers i.e. Physics, Chemistry and Maths with 70 numbers for each paper. In reality the candidates who have scored just 80 numbers out of 210 also get admission. Therefore this test is more in the nature of screening test to filter out candidate who know nothing about any subject. Candidate scoring 50% or more numbers get some discount in fee which is called as scholarship.
Effect of FIITJEE:
The children enrolled, attend classes on Fridays through Sunday, in a crash course manner during summer vacations from May to July besides weekends. Yes on Saturday and Sunday. These children get no holiday at all. Result is that of all the students, especially the young ones (below 13 years) about 25% are pot-bellied. Out of these 10% are apparently overweight. Since students have to take separate coaching for their school problems, they hardly have any time for themselves. What about human rights of these young children? Childhood which is supposed to be fun, is made a military drill without holidays. The parents are subjecting their children to this cruelty for they want their child to fulfill the ambition, they could not achieve themselves.
First appearance/impression of FIITJEE:
Their reception at Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi was more like an auction room with staff yelling at each other from a distance for communication. Receptionists rather Interaction Staff was replying every question loudly. No pretense of being discrete or polite. It looked more like a reception of stock broking firm. Even when no customer was at the reception for query, the din did not die down as their were passing by children to yell at or to talk among themselves loudly except when it was a private joke.
Financial aspects of FIITJEE:
The fee charged by FIITJEE starts at Rs. 25000/- for class 6th. Class 7 and 8 are integrated hence consolidated fee of Rs. 70000/-. Class 9 & 10 are integrated with fee of Rs. 140000/-. Class 11 & 12 have fee of Rs. 150000/- for each year. Above is only an approximation. There may be variation. I do not claim accuracy. But all payments are payable by post dated cheques in advance. This means once you are in, you have to pay. Of course one can sue them for deficiency in service and avoid payment but would minor child be competent witness? They have 60 institutions all over India. They have about six batches for each class. Each batch has 180 students. For easy calculation we take average fee at 60,000/- per student and calculate the revenue: (My ten digit calculator failed): branches*batches*students*classes*60000 = 60*6*180*7*60000 = Rs. 27,216,000,000/- per year.
Is it possible? Is something wrong here?
27.2 billion Indian Rupees. (1 USD = 66 INR)
Facilities/Amenities offered by FIITJEE:
While faculties/teachers in normal schools are of average if not below that caliber. Their syllabus, to say the least, is monotonous being prescribed by extraneous considerations of preferring certain authors/publishers. Private coaching institutes are doing their bit but at a very heavy price. The worst is the health of children. FIITJEE claims to be preparing the children for such competitions which air at searching talent. In other words FIITJEE’s claim if believed means they are capable of creating talent. However except for few posters of successful candidates nothing is visible.
They promise air-conditioned class rooms but half the students have to attend classes in non-air-conditioned rooms, hired in nearby public school, in scorching summer heat of over 45 degrees Celsius.
The books, they offer are the encyclopedia of objective type questions. Few books have the short description of some scientific principles. One book contains the question papers of past many years as used in Entrance Examinations. These books are good for refresher courses and not to learn something from scratch. Teachers are knowledgeable. They know everything, except how to slow down or to create interest of the pupil in the subject. But when the curriculum is based on a refresher like course, the students who do not know at all are just spectators. They claim that they shuffle batches to optimize the learning experience but that would be a true paradox.
Scholarships in FIITJEE:
The most hilarious aspect is the scholarships the FIITJEE is offering. Any student who has attained 100% marks is taught free. But why a student who can solve whole question paper himself, would come to FIITJEE? A student who scored less than 95% of marks in school exams is not entitled to any concession. Nope. Nothing.
Results of FIITJEE:
As per the claim of FIITJEE, about 2400 of its students were successful in the last IIT-JEE exam. Which means that out of 60*180*7=75,600 students toiling from class 6th through 12th without any Sunday rest, only 2400 or less than 3% were successful. But even that is also not sure. Were these 2400 students were from scholarships i.e. those who were otherwise getting more than 95% marks in maths and science? I do not have that answer. Ask FIITJEE. But if I were you, I would not trust the answer to be truthful. No billionaire will tell how he sells their product. When the truth is not revealable it is called business secret.
Advice to Parents:
Please pause and think:
What is life? It is to be discovered by living. By interacting. Not by making it a chase or race. Of course money is important but how much? Money can be made in every profession.
IIT-JEE is all right but there are other ways. Those who can afford to pay to FIIT-JEE Rs. five lacs (hundred thousand) in seven years should think if it would be better to send the child to a paid private college which charges about similar admission fee. Some new private Engineering College charge nothing as well.
If you think your child is brilliant, be sure you are not comparing him/her to yourself. Every child is smarter than the parents. For these competitive exams what is required is talent. There is a difference between intelligence and talent. All entrance exams are memory testing exams. Unless a person can think and solve mathematical and scientific problems in abstract i.e. hypothetically on his own, he can not claim to have a talent in science or maths. Please make sure that you are not driven by ambition but because your child has keen interest in the subjects like maths and science. Please read my similar posts, links are given below. Be assured that FIITJEE is only capable of changing a very small percentage of chances of success. Nothing more. It may help a child only by a shoulder edge. It can not make him, what he is not. Do not waste your precious resources on dream merchants.
BTW u/s 420 of Penal Code, inducement to part with money with promise to deliver something amounts to fraud when the intention of promisor is not to fulfill the promise. Here the promise is made not in words but by indirect and oblique reference to so-called success stories without disclosing the other credentials of successful students. Would it not amount to fraud?
On 27 August 2012 I posted following question on FIITJEE’s Founder Chairman & Chief Mentor D.K. Goyal’s blog:
As per your claims 2400 students from FIITJEE were successful. Were these 2400 students were from scholarships i.e. those who were otherwise getting more than 95% marks in maths and science? can you please provide an answer.
Answer is awaited.
Added on Nov. 12, 2012
No answer from fiitjee as yet. It appears that the proposition of free scholarship for sponsoring the potentially successful candidates, gives result. Otherwise FIITJEE is just a dream merchant selling dreams but no actual result. It appears the whole exercise is a grifter’s attempt to generate false confidence in the institution and to make people to buy it.
Added on April 20, 2014:
No answer from FIITJEE as yet. The dream merchants are doing brisk business as before.
Added on May 17, 2014:
No answer from FIITJEE as yet. The dream merchants continue in business.
Added on February 9, 2015:
Still no reply. Dream merchants do not answer critics.
Added on November 21, 2015:
No reply from FITJEE. Obviously they have no reply.
Added on December 1, 2016:
Yet, no reply or clarification from this dream merchant.