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Class, apart Class, apart: A private tutor taking a class in Kolkata | Salil Bera

Reema Narula, 36, worked as a maths teacher in a reputable CBSE school in Delhi for more than a decade. She left her “monotonous” job to become a tutor on Vedantu, an online tuition platform. “At school, there was no creative flexibility as I had to teach more than 50 students in a class,” she says. “Here, I can teach as per my methodology and I am paid on an hourly basis. The money can be Rs.400 to Rs.500 per hour. I normally take five-six hours of classes in a day.” Same is the case with Chandigarh-based tutor Bhavdeep Sethi, 41, who left his IT job to work as a full-time home tutor two years ago. He also teaches at Vedantu. “The remuneration that a school teacher gets and the money that a home tutor makes can be compared to apples and oranges.”

More and more teachers are ditching the old school method and becoming private tutors, both for money and job satisfaction. Also, the additional tasks that teachers have to perform at schools add to the pressure. Pallavi Narain, 37, who has taught in several reputable schools in Delhi, says teachers are given administrative tasks and made to participate in school activities that result in longer working hours—something that is not reflected in the remuneration packages. “Teachers' starting salaries range between Rs.18,000 and Rs.25,000 a month in some schools, whereas in smaller private schools and nurseries it starts at Rs.3,000. A few schools provide medical benefits and incentives but that is not consistent across the board,” says Narain, who now holds skill-based English classes at home.

The sheer number of students in each class makes it impossible for teachers to concentrate on individual children, says Narain. So, average students feel left out, whereas they could have done better had they attended school with a smaller class size. “This,” she says, “may be one of the strongest reasons why more and more people are choosing to detach themselves from institutions and teach privately.”

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