Corporate Education by FIITJEE

My cousin completed her Xth recently with a decent percentage and after a couple of entrance exams got admitted to two of the best colleges in town. The first was Little Flower Jr. College, a college which is a part of the same fraternity that I am an alumnus of and the second one, FIITJEE, a coaching centre that is now into imparting fulltime education with focus on IIT.

As someone who discourages people from taking up engineering anymore, I told my sister to forget FIITJEE and these other coaching center’s and join a perfect college setting complete with large playgrounds and extra-curricular activities. Not joining Little Flower was one mistake that I always wanted to forget so I tried all the tricks in the book to entice her to join there. Also, it’s probably the only college in Hyderabad that has such large classrooms, playgrounds, basket-ball courts and cafeteria, a pleasant change from cramped classrooms in residential apartments.

Another reason for pushing LF was due to the fact that she still had to learn a lot about India. My Cousin was born in the US and she hardly spent anytime in India before they moved here for good about two years back. For someone who never had public exams, school uniforms and 7hrs of monotonous subject classes, schools here were a shock and for days she refused to go. Finally we found one school that suited her, Vidyaranya, as it had relaxed rules when it came to dress code and social activities.

So for a long time her father and I had been contemplating a way to get her to understand Indian Psyche and accustom her to Indian ways and means and for which I felt LF was the best place. It was a little away from downtown Hyd, had a college bus, had extra-curricular activities that most students picked up and most of all there would be plenty of like-minded simple middle-class kids out there from whom she could learn a lot of things. From the day she came to India, a kind of protective cover was around her all the time, things like a dedicated car and driver, always mineral water and never ever going out to crowded places where she could get rid of her phobia of common people.

But the moment she stepped into FIITJEE, everything changed. The place reminded her of her school in the US as it had air-conditioned classrooms, plush seats, convenient timings (12pm-6pm???) and most of all, it was just beside her school which guaranteed that she would never have to take public transport or meet loads of new people. With just 20 super-rich kids in her class, all of whom came from affluent families and almost all them having chauffeurs waiting to pick them up, she felt at home. But for my uncle and I, it was a totally different horror story.

My family comes from a back-ground of eminent academicians who more or less call the shots everywhere they go. My father, himself a professor, has never ever been under guidelines as to how to handle a class let alone how to present himself before students and all the lecturers I ever cared about more or less belonged to the same mould. But FIITJEE was something else. For the first time I saw lecturers here in ties and dog-tags from whom a student has to take a prior appointment to clear his doubts. For the first time I saw a lecturer refusing to speak to the parents as any inquiry has to handled by an HR professional hired by FIITJEE. And for the first ever time I saw a college where a student to forbidden to run or speak louder than a whisper in the premises.

Now it’s been more than six years since my Xth but I was actually aghast by the way education has been corporatised. The course fee that FITJEE charges for two years of intensive coaching for JEE, SAT and AIEEE is a whopping Rs. 140,000 and all of that has to be paid before the student steps into the college. And incase the student does not cope up with the intensive coaching not a single penny is refunded.

The fee part is still all right but what pissed me of the most was the attitude of those HR guys at the reception area. We wanted a sit down with the faculty to explain that my sis’s CBSC background is not enough to cope up with the rigors of the State Syllabus but the condescending way in which the HR guy spoke to us was horrible. The expression he had all the while was “You have come to the most glamorous and expensive place in the world of education, why the fuck are you even asking me these questions? Pay the money and lick our feet”. All the while that chap was more interested in showing us the plush classrooms and hit-tech gadgets used while teaching.

The worst was still to come when the admission form was like a legal deed where every second statement read “… and FIITJEE is not responsible and no refund can be requested”. The above statement was repeated atleast a dozen times in the form. Also for the first time I saw the guardian’s photo being requested in the form and when my uncle failed to reproduce the same, the cashier simple rejected the form and said either come back with the photo NOW!, Or just deposit the cash and take a receipt for the same whenever we give the photograph. Imagine it’s not the student’s photo they want but the cash payer’s???

At one stage the whole process looked like a gigantic exercise where we just pay up the exorbitant fee to be jailed without questions. The uniform for FIITJEE can be bought only at one Raymond’s outlet in the whole city and the cost is fixed by the institution. Also, the student can come to the classroom only when he/she has the uniform and in our case, my sis got admitted on a Saturday and the classes were beginning on Monday. Just goes to show how horrible these corporate colleges can be.

When we finally managed to get hold of a couple of Sr. year student’s there quick response to our queries was that all of them had to fend for themselves when it come to college education using model papers and guides and only the high-level IIT coaching is imparted in the classroom. And also if one were to under perform in the IIT classes, the lectures apparently mock the students as being unfit for education.

This is the state of Intermediate education in a city that produces the maximum number of engineers in world. A city that has the highest number of IITians treats its kids in away that are devoid of any human touch and interest. All these are just money making machines with the sole aim to cash in on the parents desires of seeing the kids in the countries top premier institutions.

Now here’s what baffles me. FIITJEE claims to have secured 2900 out of the 4000 seats in IIT-JEE this year. If that’s true that the cost of getting into such a college is a cool 1.5 lakhs for two years! Can all the people in our country afford such amounts? So is quality education only restricted only to the super-rich who can shell out such vast sums? How the hell is a normal poor kid supposed to bear such expenses? A dear friend and a fellow blogger who is aiming for his civils also asked me the same question once. He is spending more than a couple of lakhs an year for IAS exams! Is all this money for coaching institutes justified? Even if it is, is it not the basic responsibility to provide an environment of education rather than training kids as corporate citizen’s right from schooling?

My sis chose FIITJEE because she is at home in such a world. But one question that nags my uncle and me is, are we doing a greater mistake by allowing her to join in such an atmosphere at such a young age? Will she be able to adjust to any other situation ever again?

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30 thoughts on “Corporate Education by FIITJEE”

  1. Ohh.. man

    I just posted a long reply to ur post and its now gone..
    Anyway, good post and all I wanted to say that was your post was real eye opening.
    I had no idea about corporate education scenario back in india, especially hyderabad.
    Well , I paid 12,000 bucks back when I did my intermediate, and that was too much for me and I even considered dropping my idea about engineering and joining some job-guaranteed education at that time. It is really horrifying to think about the people who earn a meagre 5000-6000 rupees of salary with two kids..

    Well, Iam very glad I came out of it now…

  2. Ohh.. man

    I just posted a long reply to ur post and its now gone..
    Anyway, good post and all I wanted to say that was your post was real eye opening.
    I had no idea about corporate education scenario back in india, especially hyderabad.
    Well , I paid 12,000 bucks back when I did my intermediate, and that was too much for me and I even considered dropping my idea about engineering and joining some job-guaranteed education at that time. It is really horrifying to think about the people who earn a meagre 5000-6000 rupees of salary with two kids..

    Well, Iam very glad I came out of it now…

  3. Rs. 1,40,000 for an IIT course??!!!! WTF? We can get a Masters degree at a damn good US university (with aid that is) with that money and still save some.

    I just joined a coaching class. The fee was Rs. 20,000 for a 4 months course! Well, the teaching is good but it ends there. Our classroom, basically, is a cellar. What’s the strength? 300. 300 people, who breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, are packed into a cellar which has only one ventilator. The airconditioning saves us but it is susceptible to power cuts and so when there is a power cut, we almost choke and our clothes, notebooks become wet with sweat. And imagine sitting in a place which has almost no leg room and no room at all to move your arms for 3 hours. When we complain, we are asked to “adjust”. Bigmouth once aptly called this a concentration camp. It is! This is what a fee of Rs. 20,000 is reciprocated with.

    And 1,40,000 for an IIT course?! I still cant digest this. Something has to be done.

  4. Rs. 1,40,000 for an IIT course??!!!! WTF? We can get a Masters degree at a damn good US university (with aid that is) with that money and still save some.

    I just joined a coaching class. The fee was Rs. 20,000 for a 4 months course! Well, the teaching is good but it ends there. Our classroom, basically, is a cellar. What’s the strength? 300. 300 people, who breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, are packed into a cellar which has only one ventilator. The airconditioning saves us but it is susceptible to power cuts and so when there is a power cut, we almost choke and our clothes, notebooks become wet with sweat. And imagine sitting in a place which has almost no leg room and no room at all to move your arms for 3 hours. When we complain, we are asked to “adjust”. Bigmouth once aptly called this a concentration camp. It is! This is what a fee of Rs. 20,000 is reciprocated with.

    And 1,40,000 for an IIT course?! I still cant digest this. Something has to be done.

  5. And about the doubts that your uncle and yourself had in admitting her there, you should’ve followed them. She’ll find it tough to adjust once she joins an engineering college. If you wanted her to get a feel of desi, then I think you put her in the wrong place.

  6. And about the doubts that your uncle and yourself had in admitting her there, you should’ve followed them. She’ll find it tough to adjust once she joins an engineering college. If you wanted her to get a feel of desi, then I think you put her in the wrong place.

  7. Well…its not the first time an ‘educational institution’ has gone overboard on its fee structures! In my city, the price that you mentioned would be laughed at and the institution treaded with scorn as it is not ‘expensive’ enough to impart ‘quality education’. We even have nursery schools which charge 30k per year!

  8. Well…its not the first time an ‘educational institution’ has gone overboard on its fee structures! In my city, the price that you mentioned would be laughed at and the institution treaded with scorn as it is not ‘expensive’ enough to impart ‘quality education’. We even have nursery schools which charge 30k per year!

  9. Kishan: Sorry abt the loss of ur long reply. Wat happened?
    Anyways, you must have heard abt Narayana Coaching Center’s in hyd. Apparently there ar now A/C and Non-A/c batches. A/C Batch – Rs 70,000. Non-A/c – Rs 50,000.
    What can one say abt that?

    @Chaitu: Dude, as was with us, so is it with the younger lot. She made up her mind and nothing and no one can change her mind.

    Advitiya: Any other type of education is fine, but for most imp exams like IIT and IAS, if only economically affluent class has a chance to get in, then it is wrong. No two ways abt it.

  10. Kishan: Sorry abt the loss of ur long reply. Wat happened?
    Anyways, you must have heard abt Narayana Coaching Center’s in hyd. Apparently there ar now A/C and Non-A/c batches. A/C Batch – Rs 70,000. Non-A/c – Rs 50,000.
    What can one say abt that?

    @Chaitu: Dude, as was with us, so is it with the younger lot. She made up her mind and nothing and no one can change her mind.

    Advitiya: Any other type of education is fine, but for most imp exams like IIT and IAS, if only economically affluent class has a chance to get in, then it is wrong. No two ways abt it.

  11. AC and NON AC Batches ???? Are you kidding???

    May be in coming years they will also have balcony section and front benchers sections??

    Really insipid !!!!

  12. AC and NON AC Batches ???? Are you kidding???

    May be in coming years they will also have balcony section and front benchers sections??

    Really insipid !!!!

  13. am a vidyaranyaite… great school to study in. taught me to be a person and not a machine. taught me to think, questions, respect not fear and be true to myself.

    was in LFJC too. the worst 2 years of my life! absolute machines, narrow minded.

    learnt a lot from my experience there because of everything i did/didn´t receive. but learnt because vidyaranya, apart from my parents, taught me to learn from any situtation, experience in life.

  14. am a vidyaranyaite… great school to study in. taught me to be a person and not a machine. taught me to think, questions, respect not fear and be true to myself.

    was in LFJC too. the worst 2 years of my life! absolute machines, narrow minded.

    learnt a lot from my experience there because of everything i did/didn´t receive. but learnt because vidyaranya, apart from my parents, taught me to learn from any situtation, experience in life.

  15. this isn’t about the main topic of your post, but i would just like to point out that little flower isn’t anymore the wondrous place that it used to be. i joined little flower at a time when it started losing its glory, and witnessed the transition. it’s not just about the fact that it used to bag a whole bunch of ranks in all those entrance examinations, and it doesn’t anymore. that’s just one thing. what’s really sad is that most of the good faculty members have left, and the students are mostly a bunch of rich spoilt kids. it used to have an exclusive entrance examination earlier, but with the government banning such practices by private colleges, the gates have essentially been thrown open, and there’s no quality check on incoming students.

    this is just my opinion. and by the way, i still love the place though. more than any place i’ve ever been.

  16. this isn’t about the main topic of your post, but i would just like to point out that little flower isn’t anymore the wondrous place that it used to be. i joined little flower at a time when it started losing its glory, and witnessed the transition. it’s not just about the fact that it used to bag a whole bunch of ranks in all those entrance examinations, and it doesn’t anymore. that’s just one thing. what’s really sad is that most of the good faculty members have left, and the students are mostly a bunch of rich spoilt kids. it used to have an exclusive entrance examination earlier, but with the government banning such practices by private colleges, the gates have essentially been thrown open, and there’s no quality check on incoming students.

    this is just my opinion. and by the way, i still love the place though. more than any place i’ve ever been.

  17. @ Ashwini and W: Yes, I agree that LF was not what it before. So is the case with All Saint’s and most other schools and colleges which were eminient in the past. But education like it is at FIITJEE is at some level flawed for me.

    Kids should have freedom, freedom to run, shout and play. To experience open air and enjoy coming and going with friends. And ashwini, I think the kind of double standards and moral policing is also a thing kids should learn of so that it will nto come as a shock later on at some public place.

  18. @ Ashwini and W: Yes, I agree that LF was not what it before. So is the case with All Saint’s and most other schools and colleges which were eminient in the past. But education like it is at FIITJEE is at some level flawed for me.

    Kids should have freedom, freedom to run, shout and play. To experience open air and enjoy coming and going with friends. And ashwini, I think the kind of double standards and moral policing is also a thing kids should learn of so that it will nto come as a shock later on at some public place.

  19. ravi, r u trying to sat that there are no double standards in LFJC??? im from there…
    i can tell u stories that wud make u glad that yr sis is not in LFJC…
    in the last two years the princi, has tried fooling around with 4 girls i know of… these are not rumours but facts i have heard from the students themselves…
    female teachers are more interested in what students are wearing, and who is seeing whom..
    the good faculty has left…
    if girls and boys are seen talking to each other, they are suppossed to explain themselves to the princi…
    if students wanna go out with friends, u need prior permission from the princi… if students are caught outside in a group of boys and girls, students are slapped, insulted and parents are called…
    i have jus scratched the surface to give u an idea…
    freedom??? wat sort of freedom is there in LFJC???
    LFJC has changed from wat it was…
    agreed that FIITJEE is not the kind of education ppl like u and me envisage, but its better than the double standards of LFJC… FIITJEE is honest abt wat it is… corporate education, LFJC is not…

  20. ravi, r u trying to sat that there are no double standards in LFJC??? im from there…
    i can tell u stories that wud make u glad that yr sis is not in LFJC…
    in the last two years the princi, has tried fooling around with 4 girls i know of… these are not rumours but facts i have heard from the students themselves…
    female teachers are more interested in what students are wearing, and who is seeing whom..
    the good faculty has left…
    if girls and boys are seen talking to each other, they are suppossed to explain themselves to the princi…
    if students wanna go out with friends, u need prior permission from the princi… if students are caught outside in a group of boys and girls, students are slapped, insulted and parents are called…
    i have jus scratched the surface to give u an idea…
    freedom??? wat sort of freedom is there in LFJC???
    LFJC has changed from wat it was…
    agreed that FIITJEE is not the kind of education ppl like u and me envisage, but its better than the double standards of LFJC… FIITJEE is honest abt wat it is… corporate education, LFJC is not…

  21. Shocked! I did not know FIITJEE has proceeded so far. And the description you give sounds like a nightmare!

    Is the future really bright?

  22. Shocked! I did not know FIITJEE has proceeded so far. And the description you give sounds like a nightmare!

    Is the future really bright?

  23. hi,
    i’m ag’s sister and I went to Vidyaranya. I was just wondering what your cousin’s name was to see if I know her.

  24. hi,
    i’m ag’s sister and I went to Vidyaranya. I was just wondering what your cousin’s name was to see if I know her.

  25. Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog 🙂
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day 🙂

  26. hi
    i m jatin nath from kerala.i hav paid for fiitjee ‘s pinnacle two year integrated course in chennai. it is my dream to get into iit .and to get through i am willing to through any kind of intense , rigorous couching that they offer.i really hope the coaching helps me get there. i wanted to ask if really 2900 students from fiitjee were admitted to iit in 2006 and students who get about 90 – 95 % score in boards hav a gud chance of getting there.

    I PRAY IT WORKS OUT

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