IITs to release 50 years of solved JEE Question Papers!!

India’s Human Resources Department (akin to Department of Education in US and elsewhere) made this decision after consultation with the IITs purportedly to combat the scourge of Kota coaching academies. This story popped up in my Facebook timeline and my friend Himanshu Nautiyal had this pithy response making the case that India needs more coaching, not less.

Coaching is bad only if JEE question setters don’t stay a step ahead of the coaching in setting innovative questions. This measure only means that JEE setters give up the right to reuse questions and boosts the stock of coaching centers that can prepare students for non-formula questions.

Schools focus on teaching, not on practice. The problem is with the schools – they should become more like coaching centers.

This is also a problem with colleges. They produce graduates who can score highly in exams but (for example) cannot code, precisely because they are taught, not coached. There should actually be more coaching for jobs in college.

Ivory tower/highminded teaching of liberal arts and general principles of thought is fine for those who want to be bureacurats, politicians and consultants, but everyone else needs coaching for their jobs.

The other kind of coaching academies I’m looking forward to are the Khan Academy enabled ones – Summit Public Schools reimagining the physical classroom and the Montessori 2.0 experiments at Khan Lab School.