Regulating Private Tuition Industry in Sri Lanka

A Poster for a Tuition Class

I have only three years’ experiences as a teacher of English at two state schools and only a few months’ experiences as a private tuition master. Had I continued as one, I might have become a millionaire by now if not a multimillionaire. But I chose not to. I was more comfortable in teaching free of charge to the students in my village.

I share my thoughts about the private tuition industry in Sri Lanka and you obviously have the liberty to differ. Though I encourage liberalization of the economy, I still believe that the education should be low-priced if not totally free. I am the 8th child in a family of 9 children and EVERY MEMBER in my family benefited from free education. If we did not have free education, I wouldn’t have been able even to write this post.

The Poster War

My point is that the better way to counter the private tuition mafia (sorry, I had to use this 5-letter-word because I have seen it that way in numerous occasions) would be to empower/train/improve the present schoolteachers at state schools and also recruit good teachers from the private tuition industry to the state schoolteachers’ cadre. This would create a competitive structure based on the quality of education they provide. State schoolteachers will have to perform better to retain the job. If they don’t, like it happens in the western hemisphere, they should be laid off.

The private tuition classes could be done inside state school properties and this would also reduce the costs in the private tuition industry so that the benefits could directly go to students in terms of lesser tuition fees. In addition, students will have better security inside state school premises. The state schools could recruit either parents or security guards/caretakers when the tuition classes are held.

Private Tuition Classes Cluttered with the Students

(All photos used here are taken randomly from the Internet and used for public good.)

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