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A Cautionary Tale for Aspirants

Unethical Practices in Coaching and Career Consultancy Industry
01:00 AM Jan 08, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
a cautionary tale for aspirants
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The recent revelation of Vivek Bindra's exploitation of hopeful aspirants by peddling grand aspirations should not be seen as an isolated incident. Unethical practices are rife to varying extents, particularly within the coaching and educational consultancy sector of our state as well.

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Every year, following the announcement of NEET results, numerous coaching and consultancy centers engage in aggressive advertising campaigns across print, electronic, and social media platforms to lure in as many aspirants as possible.

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From exaggerated claims and lofty assurances to outright falsehoods, a plethora of unethical tactics are employed to capitalize on the desperate and often ill-informed aspirants.

While the significance of quality coaching and career guidance cannot be denied, it is crucial to make well-informed decisions and conduct thorough research to ensure that one does not fall prey to a web of deceit. It is imperative to be cognizant of certain realities and warning signs before enrolling in any coaching center or availing of consultancy services.

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A coaching center is not the sole determinant of success; self-discipline, perseverance, and effective preparation strategies are paramount.

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Even the most reputable coaching centers can provide updated study materials, time management tips, and explanations of certain concepts. However, success hinges on one's grasp of concepts and hard work, which are indispensable.

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It is possible to succeed without the aid of a coaching center by drawing inspiration from individuals who have achieved success without formal coaching. In addition to personal determination and perseverance, familiarity with the examination syllabus, pattern, previous year's question papers, and one's own experiences of success or failure are sufficient for devising and implementing an effective strategy for success.

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With a clear sense of purpose, students can explore online guidance avenues either free of cost or at a fraction of the expense. Personally, I believe that watching a high-quality video lecture at home is more beneficial than attending a lecture in a noisy coaching center classroom.

Most coaching center classrooms lack one-on-one interaction, which could have potentially its value over a video lecture where the students are mainly passive listeners. However, there is no harm in enrolling in a coaching center if it enhances understanding or time management. The key is to make an informed choice.

Advertisements and tall claims should be scrutinized carefully

While success stories are highlighted, the reality of failure is conveniently overlooked. Aspirants should carefully assess the success-to-failure ratio, class size, teaching methods, doubt resolution, and transparency of coaching centers.

The other big issue is covert advertising, where coaching centers invite officers of state administration, and university professors to prize distribution events which are later publicized as news items. This should not be mistaken as a mark of quality or approval from them. Similarly, photos and "motivational" sessions with recent toppers at sponsored events should not heavily influence your choices.

Beware of dream-selling by consultancies

The harsh reality of most consultancies is prioritizing profit. Many target vulnerable NEET unsuccessful students, sending them to substandard and unrecognized foreign institutions. A report by Careers360 revealed that out of 496 foreign medical colleges where Indian students studied, only 205 are recognized by the main medical education regulator of those countries. Before deciding to pursue a medical degree abroad one should at least ensure:

  • If the student has qualified NEET, then only he/she can be eligible for licensure examinations (FMGE and NExT) which can enable them to practice in India.
  • If the college suggested by the consultancy is recognized by the medical education regulator of that country.
  • Does the suggested foreign degree-granting institutions provide hospital training?

Managing career aspirations:

Despite best efforts, achieving desired career paths may not always be possible. Have faith in your abilities and consider alternative paths. Avoid exploitation due to desperation and focus on skill-building and enjoying the journey of knowledge. Have faith in the Almighty, there is always something better waiting for you.

BY Dr. Aamir Hanif

Dr. Aamir Hanif works as a Scientist at Surface Measurement Systems, London, UK. Views expressed are personal.

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