Coaching Institutions' Gross Marketing Technique

Coaching Institutions' Gross Marketing Technique
Coaching Institutions' Gross Marketing Technique

Unscrupulous advertising has become the standard in many industries because of the cutthroat nature of modern competition. Even the most sacred and innocent of all sectors, education, which shapes the nation's leaders of tomorrow, has begun to wear shades of grey. Students in today's academically competitive world are always looking for top coaching institutes where they can hone their skills and achieve their academic goals. The competition among educational institutions is fierce, and some resort to dishonest means to attract as many pupils as possible.

Advertisements for these educational institutions often make exaggerated claims about the placement rates they provide, the percentage of students who pass their entry examinations, or the affiliations they have earned. Their advertising budget for television and internet platforms is close to Rs.38,000 crore.

False data regarding placements is alleged in numerous situations. A fraudulent advertisement for Manav Knowledge City, a school in Maharashtra, falsely claimed that its students would achieve the highest academic results and placement rates. The advertiser's claim that they had the lowest fees was likewise deemed false by the consumer forum.

The so-called "Coaching Centres" are raking in the dough as well. There are thousands of students signing up to study for admission tests. There is currently no mechanism to reimburse students whose payments have already been processed if they are dissatisfied with the service or cannot gain admission.

The Centre Offers Recommendations to Spot Deceptive Ads
FIITJEE, the New Joiner
Effects on Education and Society

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The Centre Offers Recommendations to Spot Deceptive Ads

On 9 January 2024, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs discussed recommendations to address misleading coaching marketing in the face of unethical actions by coaching institutes to attract employment or entrance exam candidates.

A committee led by Consumer Affairs Secretary and  CCPA Chief Commissioner Rohit Kumar Singh discussed the issue. Last October, the CCPA, the nation's top consumer watchdog, filed notifications to 20 IAS coaching institutes for "misleading" ads. According to the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the CCPA's committee on misleading coaching commercials met for the first time on Monday to review the proposed rules. According to the ministry, officials and stakeholders discussed the draft standards for misleading coaching ads.

Under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, a coaching institute's advertisement could be misleading if it conceals essential information about the course chosen by successful candidates (free or paid), its duration, etc.

Coaching Market Size Worldwide
Coaching Market Size Worldwide

FIITJEE, the New Joiner

After publishing a national newspaper ad ridiculing a student who left the coaching facility for another, FIITJEE received huge outrage over the weekend. The student's academic performance, school, and photo were displayed in the FIITJEE ad. In the wake of many student suicides, coaching institutes have been encouraged by the government to be sensitive to pupils. Social media users called the commercial "shameful" and "disgusting".

A photo of the ad published by Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax, Government of India officer Katyayani Sanjay Bhatia on X revealed the issue. She tweeted- "A new low in advertisements FIITJEE. You are posting a picture of a child saying she performed badly because she left your institute! I have blurred the picture because I don’t believe in this disgusting way of claiming your superiority by belittling a girl child", she stated.

The daily's front page advertisement claimed that the ex-student could have scored 100 NTA in JEE-Mains 2024 instead of 99.99 if she hadn't left for a "EVIL Institute from Kota with a history of suicides". JEE was also criticised for calling its competition "evil".

FIITJEE vs Evil Institute

Effects on Education and Society

  • Coaching institutes in India have transformed education and society. These institutes claim to help kids succeed academically, but they have lowered school and college quality.
  • Coaching institutes also cause society's obsessive fixation with exam outcomes. These institutes' strong competitiveness has made parents, students, and schools prioritise grades over all else.
  • Holistic development and critical thinking are neglected in favour of rote memorisation and exam preparation.
  • Coaching institutes put kids under tremendous pressure. Many students feel overwhelmed by academic requirements. Constant stress can cause anxiety and despair.

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What can students and parents do to avoid being misled by coaching ads?

  • Research the institute's reputation and track record.
  • Ask for detailed information about courses, success rates, and fees.
  • Don't be pressured into enrolling based on sensational advertising.
  • Be cautious of claims that seem too good to be true.

What are some standard misleading practices by coaching institutes in India?

  • Placement rates: They may inflate the number of students placed after coaching.
  • Success rates: They may overstate the percentage of students who pass entrance exams.
  • Affiliations: They may make false claims about accreditations or partnerships.

How do coaching ads negatively impact education?

  • Obsessive focus on exam results: Students and parents prioritize grades over holistic learning.
  • Neglect of critical thinking and development: Coaching emphasizes rote memorization for exams.
  • Increased pressure on students: Students feel overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed in exams.

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